Serbia warns of 'Greater Albania'

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia, Sunday, Jan. 30, 2000 (AP) - A top Serbian opposition party warned Sunday against the perceived threat of a "Greater Albania" – an expansion of Albania to include Serbia's Kosovo province and Albanian-populated areas of western Macedonia.

Increasingly frequent contacts between Kosovar Albanian leader Hashim Thaci and Macedonian ethnic Albanian leader Arben Xhaferi "clearly indicate that the monstrous idea of creating a 'Greater Albania'... is a major threat in the region," said a statement from the Serbian Renewal Movement.

The statement referred to a recent visit by Thaci and Xhaferi to neighboring Bulgaria. The two leaders reiterated demands for Kosovo's full secession from Serbia.

The Kosovo province has been an international protectorate since NATO intervention last year, launched to stop fighting between independence-minded ethnic Albanians and Serb government troops. The province formally remains part of Serbia.

Ethnic Albanians are an overwhelming majority in Kosovo. In neighboring Macedonia, they dominate western parts of the country adjacent to Albania proper and constitute one-fourth of the population.

Elsewhere Sunday, the independent Beta news agency reported that 100 tons of heating fuel has arrived in a poverty-stricken Serbian town as part of European Union aid to opposition-run municipalities.

The oil arrived late Saturday in Pirot, where pro-democracy parties opposed to President Slobodan Milosevic run the local government. It is to be used for central heating of schools, kindergartens and hospitals.

In all, the EU has planned to send 25,000 tons of fuel to municipalities controlled by Milosevic's opponents.