Friday, May 21, 1999 Published at 23:54 GMT 00:54 UK
Allies deny Kosovo rift
Robin Cook and Madeleine Albright put up a united front
UK Foreign Secretary Robin Cook has united with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in saying their governments are agreed over Nato's strategy in the Balkans - including the use of ground troops.
The trip was planned following media reports claiming that the US President Bill Clinton was not as keen as the UK Prime Minister Tony Blair to send ground troops into Kosovo.
But Mr Cook said: "There are no closer allies within the alliance than Britain and the United States.
'Determined to prevail'
He and Mrs Albright also stressed that they enjoyed a close working relationship which they said was symbolic of Nato's resolve to end ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.
The show of unity appeared to be intended to counter reports of a rift between the UK and US over Nato's strategy.
The Times newspaper said Mr Clinton urged the prime minister to "get control".
'No option off the table'
Mr Cook and Mrs Albright stressed that their governments remained committed to continuing Nato's bombing campaign, which they said had inflicted major damage on the Serb military structure.
Mrs Albright said the member governments were currently waiting for the alliance's military commanders to update their assessments on the feasibility for both "a permissive and non-permissive" deployment of ground troops.
"We have not taken any option of the table," Mrs Albright said.
She also dismissed reports of a wider split within Nato.
"This alliance is unified in a way which many people predicted could not be possible. We really have 19 democracies working together for the same goals and the same purpose," she said.
Mr Cook said all the nations were determined to continue their action until Serb forces withdrew from Kosovo and refugees were allowed to return to their homes under the protection of an international security force.
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