Serb leaders invited a wide range of ethnic Albanian leaders to talks Saturday, hoping to find a political solution to the recent violence in Kosovo province.
The invitation - the third in recent days by a Serb government anxious to stave off foreign sanctions - was broader than any since Serbia stripped Kosovo's Albanians of broad autonomy in 1989.But it was unclear whether talks would take place as planned Monday. The Kosovo Information Center, run by the ethnic Albanians' largest political party, reported Saturday that two ethnic Albanians had been shot dead by police in two villages in the Drenica region west of the provincial capital, Pristina.
There was no independent confirmation of the deaths.
More than 80 people have died in the Drenica region of Kosovo since police moved against Albanian separatists two weeks ago in Serbia's southern province. Serbia is the larger of Yugoslavia's two remaining republics.
The latest Serb offer of dialogue came in a statement carried by the state-run Tanjug news agency.
It said the Serb government "expresses its openness for unconditional dialogue and its resoluteness for solution by political means all the questions on which depend the human and civil rights of all citizens in Kosovo."
According to the news agency, those invited to new talks included nearly every leader of a political party or trade union in Kosovo.
Also invited were former Communist leaders in the province before it lost autonomy.
Ethnic Albanian leaders are scheduled to meet Sunday to discuss the latest offer. Serb officials sent to Kosovo waited in vain for two days to meet Albanians, who demanded a specific invitation and agenda.