Tuesday, September 29, 1998 Published at 17:45 GMT 18:45 UK
Diplomats test Serb claims on Kosovo
Fighting continues to keep thousands of refugees on the move
Diplomats in Belgrade have gone to the troubled province of Kosovo to see for themselves whether Serbia has stopped its offensive against remaining bases of the ethnic-Albanian separatist guerrillas.
At a meeting in Belgrade, the envoys of the United States, Russia and leading west European powers, told the Yugoslav president, Slobodan Milosevic, that he must comply fully with a United Nations demand for a ceasefire.
The ambassadors from the so-called Contact Group want urgent action to ease the refugee crisis in Kosovo, where tens of thousands of ethnic Albanians have fled attacks by Serbian troops.
American and European diplomats have been demanding that Serbian forces withdraw or face Nato airstrikes.
The latest UN resolution, voted on last Thursday, calls for a ceasefire in Kosovo.
The resolution warns the Yugoslav Government of "additional measures" against it if it fails to comply.
Belgrade dismissed the resolution as having "no juridical or political basis," but on Monday the Serbian Prime Minister, Mirko Marjanovic, announced that government forces were returning to barracks.
But despite the official assurances, the Serbian authorities in Kosovo have reported heavy fighting in the province.
The announcement by the Serbian prime minister was greeted with scepticism by Nato, and the United States said it had seen no signs of a "strategic" withdrawal of Serbian forces, despite Mr Marjanovic's announcement.
US Defence Secretary, William Cohen, told a news conference in Morocco that the Serbians had to carry out the withdrawal if they wanted Nato to think about calling off its plans to attack Serbian forces in Kosovo.
Meanwhile aid agencies in Kosovo say around a quarter of a million ethnic Albanians are living out in the open, and as the bitter Balkan winter approaches they say the region faces a humanitarian catastrophe.