Saturday, November 28, 1998 Published at 23:03 GMT
KLA offers to delay independence
KLA forces - ready for a change of position
Adem Demaci said it would accept a deal that kept the province inside Yugoslavia, as the group realised its ultimate goal of independence for Kosovo could only be reached gradually.
The BBC's Jackie Rowland in Belgrade says Mr Demaci's statement indicates that the rebels could be moving towards accepting United States proposals on self-rule for Kosovo.
Ethnic Albanian commentators in Kosovo say this is the first time Mr Demaci has publicly expressed support for the idea of the territory becoming a Yugoslav republic.
No speed up
He added that he did not think the KLA's change in position would speed up peace talks with Serbia, which has already criticised similar proposals from American diplomats.
Mr Demaci said the ethnic Albanians were still rejecting the latest version of US envoy Christopher Hill's peace plan because it gave Kosovo considerable autonomy but did not include a referendum on independence.
Clashes that began in February following a Serb crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists in Kosovo have claimed hundreds of lives and forced more than 300,000 people from their homes.
Since the cease-fire in October, the guerrillas have been returning to some areas from which they had been driven by Serb forces.