Western countries call on Kosovo to break political deadlock

PRISTINA, Kosovo — Four western European countries and the United States are calling on political groups in Kosovo to end a deadlock that has stood in the way of a functioning government.

A statement issued on Sunday by France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the U.S. held Kosovo leaders responsible for the two-month stalemate.

The political groups in parliament have failed to reach a compromise on electing a new speaker.

The speaker must be in place before the president can designate the next prime minister and a government can be formed.

The winners of a June 11 election, former leaders of Kosovo's war of independence from Serbia, have 39 out of the 120 seats in parliament.

They need backing from other political groups or support from individual lawmakers to get a speaker approved.

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