Albania's president says the crisis in Macedonia could be a setback for the Balkan region's efforts to add new members to the European Union.

President Bujar Nishani told regional leaders meeting in Tirana that the Macedonia crisis showed the "fragility of stability in the region."

Macedonia is grappling with a political crisis triggered by wiretapping allegations against the government, while tension has been stoked by a shootout this month between police and suspected ethnic Albanian militants that left 18 dead.

The leaders were meeting as part of the 13-nation South-East European Cooperation Process. Five of its members are in the EU, while five others are candidates.