Macedonia's main political leaders have started European Union-mediated talks in Brussels in effort to resolve a deep political crisis that has paralyzed the country for months.

Main opposition leader Zoran Zaev and conservative Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, along with two ethnic Albanian political leaders, were holding talks Wednesday with EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn and EU Parliament member Ivo Vajgl, in a bid to hammer out a deal that will include holding early elections by April 2016.

The crisis, one of the deepest Macedonia has faced since gaining independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, stems from opposition claims that the government illegally wiretapped 20,000 people. Zaev claims Gruevski is behind the wiretapping; Gruevski accuses Zaev of plotting a coup.