Monday, March 15, 1999 Published at 14:34 GMT
Albanians agree to deal
Yugoslav forces open fire on KLA positions on Sunday
The ethnic Albanian delegation at the Kosovo peace talks has said it is willing to accept the autonomy deal proposed by international mediators.
The ethnic Albanians made the announcement in a letter to the co-chairmen of the talks, UK Foreign Secretary Robin Cook and his French counterpart Hubert Védrine.
President Clinton - speaking after the announcement - said that if the Serbs refused to sign the deal, Nato would have little option but to begin air strikes.
"I would encourage Mr Milosevic to agree to the terms as well [as the ethnic Albanians] so that we can avoid further conflict and bloodshed," he said.
Mr Cook and Mr Vedrine welcomed the letter. Mr Cook said the international community would now be able to increase pressure on the Serbs to accept the deal.
Serbs: No Nato force
But the Serbian delegation responded to the announcement by saying that there was not yet any agreement to sign.
He reiterated that the deployment of a Nato-led force in Kosovo was out of the question.
The international community, which is insisting on a Nato presence to oversee the deal, has proposed stationing 28,000 peacekeepers in the province.
Fighting goes on
There was more fighting in the north of Kosovo on Monday. International monitors said they saw several houses on fire. There have also been further instances of intimidation of the unarmed ceasefire monitors.
"Both sides are now ceasing to respect the authority and independence of the Kosovo verification mission," Mr Cook told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
"That is why, in the peace proposals we have put before both sides at Rambouillet and are taking again with us to Paris, we stressed very strongly the need for a significant international presence to guarantee the ceasefire."
Serbs warn against Nato troops
Just hours before the talks began in Paris, Serbia threatened that any deployment of Nato-led peacekeeping troops to Kosovo would be considered an act of aggression.
"If Nato entered Serbia without invitation it would be met as an aggressor, as an enemy," he warned.
"Serbia can lose Kosovo only if it is defeated by others who are stronger, and not through negotiations," he said.
The first round of negotiations, at Rambouillet on the outskirts of Paris, lasted for 17 days. But the warring sides reached only conditional agreement on autonomy for Kosovo.
Nato Secretary-General, Javier Solana, has warned that the current talks are President Milosevic's "last opportunity" to avoid military action.