Tuesday, September 7, 1999 Published at 15:09 GMT 16:09 UK
KLA future in the balance
The KLA is due to disband by 19 September
Nato officials have agreed with leaders of the Kosovo Liberation Army on broad outlines to replace the force with an armed civilian body.
It would include a helicopter unit as well as an honour guard, security force and a small rapid reaction unit.
The UN Security Council needs to approve the plan before the force can be set up.
Nato Secretary General Xavier Solana described the Corps as a civilian organisation of a humanitarian nature.
He said: "It is essential that the KLA is transformed from an army into a civilian organisation which will play its part in building a free and democratic Kosovo."
The 9,000-strong KLA, which fought a 16-month guerrilla campaign against Serb rule, is due to disband in two weeks time.
KLA leaders wanted it to be turned into an armed defence force, but K-For and the UN mission have insisted that it must be a civil, not a military, body.
According to Nato sources, details of the future ethnic Albanian force are still under negotiation, but the major elements have been agreed upon by Lt Gen Mike Jackson and the KLA military chief, Agim Ceku.
Washington has tried to allay Russia's concerns that the force will be a continuation of the KLA under a different name.
Republican Senator Mitch McConnell said the solution should eliminate KLA fears about having to completely disband and "about what happens to them down the road when Nato is gone."
He said: "They need to have some kind of security force. We can help train that force and should do that."
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Aleksandr Avdeyev, said Moscow was against any proposal that could preserve the KLA as an organised structure because it would go against the demilitarisation agreement signed by Nato and the political leader of the KLA, Hashim Thaci, in June.
He said: "We understand the demilitarisation in the full sense of that word.
"That is not only the confiscation of armaments but also the disbandment of KLA structures."
In a separate development, cadets have begun training at a new police academy in the province.
The BBC's Nick Thorpe says that in six months time, the first officers of Kosovo's new multi-ethnic police service will be allowed to patrol.
The opening day of the Academy was spoilt however by a boycott by Serbs who had been selected for the force.
Our correspondent says that more than half the Serbs stayed away, and others left in protest.