Wednesday, May 26, 1999 Published at 13:21 GMT
Cook mission to heal Nato rifts
The potential use of ground troops has divided Nato
Foreign Secretary Robin Cook is setting off on a whistle-stop tour of Italy, Germany and France to try to heal the UK's divisions with its Nato partners over Kosovo.
UK officials are hopeful that Mr Cook's meetings with the foreign ministers of each country will help to end disagreements over strategy which have emerged over the past week.
Mr Cook was in Rome for breakfast, then flew on to Bonn for lunch and ends up in Paris by late afternoon.
Mr Cook's officials say his tour is an attempt to reassert Nato unity and review diplomatic options.
The foreign secretary is apparently keen to try to mend fences with his European colleagues.
He is also keen to impress on them the need to offer the Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic no hint of a compromise.
Ruffled feathers within Nato
The UK ruffled feathers among its allies in Europe and across the Atlantic last week by suggesting Nato break with its previously-stated policy and send in ground troops to take over Kosovo by force - without a peace settlement with Belgrade.
However, on Sunday, Mr Cook said that Mrs Albright had endorsed the idea of deploying ground troops in Kosovo in a "non-permissive" environment.
The foreign secretary, say his officials, now wants to reassert Nato solidarity and send a message to the Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic that the alliance will not compromise on its demands
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