Belgian King Albert refused to accept Prime Minister Yves Leterme's resignation on Thursday and asked three senior politicians to seek a way out of the country's political deadlock.
Leterme submitted his resignation on Monday after less than four months in office, plunging Belgium into a new crisis and rekindling speculation that the 177-year-old nation would break apart.
Leterme went to the king after failing to broker a deal between French- and Dutch-speakers on devolving more powers to the regions.
The palace said on Thursday the monarch had asked two senior French-speaking politicians and the premier of Belgium's small German-speaking community to establish how to start reform talks.
Francois Xavier de Donnea, Raymond Langendries and Karl-Heinz Lambertz accepted the mission and would report back at the end of the month.
"The king has refused to accept the resignation of the government and has asked the government to promote the chances of success of this mission as much as possible," the palace said in a statement.
Last Mod: 18 Temmuz 2008, 14:21