EU hails political parties' deal in Albania

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The European Union is hailing the political agreement in Albania "as a crucial first step" and is urging its political parties and the government to quickly start preparations for the June 25 parliamentary election.

In a statement Friday, the EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn congratulate the political parties for the agreement adding that "Now, this agreement must be swiftly implemented to prepare elections in line with international standards."

Albania's political parties reached a compromise Thursday, postponing next month's parliamentary election by a week following intensive talks mediated by a senior U.S. official and also EU officials.

Since February the opposition boycotted the parliament and had not registered for the parliamentary election, claiming Rama's Cabinet would manipulate the vote.