Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski is believed to have died after the plane he was travelling in crashed in southern Bosnia.
Trajkovski was on the way to attend an international investment conference in the western Bosnian city of Mostar. Several wire services quoted Irish President Berite Ahern saying the Macedonian president was dead.
The president's plane, an executive jet, crashed near Stolac, in the mountains east of Croatia's Adriatic port of Dubrovnik.
The plane lost contact with air-traffic controllers near the border between Bosnia and Montenegro, Captain Ben Thorp, a spokesman for US peacekeepers in Bosnia, told a news agency.
The 47-year-old Trajkovski was elected in late 1999. A lawyer by profession, his tenure was marked by tensions between Slavic-speaking Macedonians and the former Yugoslav republic's large ethnic Albanian minority.
He presided over a NATO-brokered peace deal in 2001 that ended months of armed clashes and prevented a full-blown civil war in the mountainous state bordering Kosovo.
The president is married with a son and a daughter.