Serbia church rejects Albanian plan

Belgrade, Serbia-Montenegro - A Serbian Christian Orthodox bishop has rejected Kosovo's ethnic-Albanian prime minister's wish to attend the Orthodox Easter mass Sunday.

"We cannot afford to receive (Prime Minister Agim) Ceku before we return to our refurbished residence and my believers to their homes," which were destroyed by ethnic-Albanian extremists in 2004, said Bishop Artemije, religious head of the Kosovo Serb minority.

Serbia's southern Kosovo province, with a population of about 2 million, is 90 percent ethnic-Albanian. Ceku said he wanted to attend the Serbian Orthodox Easter services Sunday and congratulate Kosovo Serbs their religious holiday.

Serbs and ethnic-Albanians have been conducting U.N.-mediated talks on Kosovo's future, once NATO protection forces and the U.N. civil mission leave the province.

Kosovo is formally part of Serbia but it has been under the U.N. administration since 1999, when NATO air attacks stopped Serbian persecution of ethnic Albanian nationalists.