Macedonia's rival political leaders have spent 12 hours in overnight talks in Strasbourg in efforts to resolve one of the country's deepest political crises since its independence in 1991.

Conservative Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and leftist opposition leader Zoran Zaev began talks late Tuesday along with several European Parliament and Commission members. European Parliament member Richard Howitt told The Associated Press the protracted talks showed "a commitment for continuing the process."

Gruevski and Zaev made no progress in talks in the Macedonian capital Skopje earlier this week.

The crisis stems from a long-running wiretap scandal and a shootout a week ago between police and ethnic Albanian gunmen that left 18 dead.

Zaev claims Gruevski is behind the wiretapping of 20,000 people, while Gruevski accuses Zaev of plotting a coup.