SKOPJE, Macedonia -- Soldiers and rebels clashed in northern Macedonia, rattling a cease-fire even as Macedonia's political leaders gathered to sign a landmark peace accord Monday to end six months of bitter fighting.
Leaders representing the Macedonian majority and the minority ethnic Albanian population planned Monday to formally endorse a deal reached last week that gives ethnic Albanians a larger share of power in the police ranks, parliament and education.
Arriving in Skopje, NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson called the signing "a remarkable moment for the history of Macedonia. This day marks the entry of Macedonia into modern, mainstream Europe."
U.S. envoy James Pardew, who helped broker the accord reached last week, was equally upbeat.
"After this day, there should be no reason for fighting," Pardew told The Associated Press.
Pardew and Robertson were to be joined by European Union envoy Javier Solana and French mediator Francois Leotard.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.