PRISTINA, Yugoslavia -- The United States vowed to keep working to find a peace formula for disputed Kosovo province after the senior ethnic Albanian negotiator rejected the latest U.S. plan.

Fehmi Agani said the new U.S. formula for the future of the Serbian province and its ethnic Albanian majority was "unacceptable" because it was too similar to the views of Serbia, the main republic of Yugoslavia.Agani told reporters Monday that the latest American draft could not be "considered a basis for . . . future negotiations."

Following Agani's announcement, White House spokesman David Leavy said the Clinton administration was "determined to push for a political settlement that will bring autonomy to Kosovo."

Hundreds of people were killed and almost 300,000 ethnic Albanians displaced in a seven-month crackdown by Serbian forces against separatists in Kosovo. An October peace agreement brought a tentative truce.

Most ethnic Albanians want independence or substantial self-rule, whereas Serbia, in its proposal for Kosovo released last month, has offered only a degree of autonomy while keeping the province firmly under Serbian control.

Leavy said in Washington that the Clinton administration would keep working on a formula for restoring the kind of autonomy that Kosovo enjoyed until Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic rescinded it a decade ago.

That formula, however, may no longer satisfy ethnic Albanians, many of whom were radicalized by the Serb crackdown on the rebel Kosovo Liberation Army, which is fighting for independence.

"The new (American) draft is . . . almost identical to the Serbian" plan, Agani told reporters.