Panic says EC talks on Kosovo can start

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KOSOVO (Reuter) - Milan Panic, the Yugoslav Prime Minister, yesterday accepted a Greek proposal for talks between Serbia and representatives of Kosovo's Albanians community under the auspices of the European Community.

'I look forward to a conference in Belgrade. Our intention is to protect and guarantee the rights of the Albanians in Kosovo,' Mr Panic said after two hours of talks with the Greek Prime Minister, Constantine Mitsotakis.

Albanians in Kosovo, who make up 90 per cent of the population, have pressed for autonomy after the secession of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Macedonia from Yugoslavia. Mr Panic will discuss the proposal with the Albanian President, Sali Berisha, after arriving in Tirana later in the day. If he agrees, Mr Mitsotakis will ask the EC to assign Greece as its observer at the talks.

Mr Mitsotakis said the talks could take place under the condition that there would be no change of borders in the area. 'The problem of Kosovo must be solved but we are not talking about self-determination of the Albanian community,' he said.

Mr Panic said he was ready to recognise Bosnia 'as soon as there is a legitimate government there but the rights of the Serbian community He implied that he wanted to recognise the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia but said he respected an EC decision that the republic could only be recognised under a different name. Athens has blocked the EC from recognising Macedonia, arguing that the name implies territorial threats against its own Macedonian region.

BERLIN - The leader of the Albanian community in Kosovo called yesterday for a UN-sponsored military mission in the province to head off war with the Serbian minority. 'They (the UN) should not once again wait until it's too late,'