Friday, March 12, 1999 Published at 22:53 GMT
Milosevic rejects foreign troops
Thousands more ethnic Albanians have been forced to flee
Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has confirmed his opposition to the deployment of foreign troops in Kosovo.
However, Mr Milosevic's statement, broadcast on Friday evening on Yugoslav TV, said he would send a delegation to attend peace talks in Paris next week.
The Russian foreign minister said Mr Milosevic had suggested that unarmed OSCE monitors, like those already in Kosovo, could oversee any political agreement.
The OSCE monitors proved unable to enforce an earlier ceasefire agreed in October.
The meeting will be held at the level of political officers of foreign ministries, according to Italian officials.
Contact Group member Russia, traditionally an ally of Serbia, has opposed the deployment of a Nato-led international peacekeeping force.
The other five members -- the US, UK, Italy, Germany and France -- have said an armed peacekeeping force is an essential component of any peace agreement.
Nato's Supreme Commander, General Wesley Clark, issued a stern warning to the Yugoslav president on Friday.
The Serb and ethnic Albanian sides in the Kosovo conflict are due to meet in France on Monday to resume discussions about a peace plan drafted in February at Rambouillet.
"The parties must come to the talks in France on Monday to finalise and implement the Rambouillet agreement, including military implementation," Robin Cook and Hubert Vedrine said in a statement after talks with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
"If either party obstructs the agreement, it will be held responsible for its actions. In that case, we are determined to face all necessary consequences," the statement said.
However, correspondents say there is a reasonable chance the ethnic Albanian will sign the agreement on Monday, leaving the way open for military action against Serbia.
In Kosovo itself, there have been reports of continuing violence, with more fighting in the northwest of the province.
Serbian security forces clashed with rebels of the Kosovo Liberation Army near the towns of Vucitrn and Mitrovica.
International monitors said they had seen a column of tanks heading northwest from the regional capital, Pristina.
There has also been evidence of more fighting near the border with Macedonia. Monitors reported hearing mortar fire near the village of Doganovic but were turned back at a police checkpoint.