Faint Progress Seen in Kosovo Talks

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PARIS: At least they're eating together. With barely a week to go before NATO's Kosovo talks deadline, the Serb and ethnic Albanian delegations have yet to negotiate face-to-face. Diplomats scurry back and forth between the two sides, although they're all in the same room for buffet-style meals, reports TIME correspondent Bruce Crumley. "The challenge is to create an agreement that both sides can present differently," says Crumley. "The Serbs need to be able to sell the agreement as ending any prospect of independence for Kosovo, while the Kosovars have to see it as a stepping-stone toward independence."

Special Report Serb president Slobodan Milosevic on Thursday made matters more difficult with the thumb-in-your-eye demand that the Albanians publicly renounce their dream of independence. Madeleine Albright again brandished the threat of air strikes if the Serbs torpedo the talks. That threat, plus the return of the British and French foreign ministers to prod the talks along, confirms that progress is slow. But NATO is hoping to move things along with its combination of bomb threats and buffets.