Learning English - Words in the News
18 February, 2008 - Published 11:50 GMT
EU faces up to Kosovo challenge
European Union foreign ministers are meeting in Brussels to try to agree their reaction to Kosovo's declaration of independence yesterday. The British and French foreign ministers insisted Kosovo was a unique situation. This report from Oana Lungescu:
The British foreign secretary David Miliband and the French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner stood shoulder to shoulder as they arrived for the meeting. They both rejected fears from Russia and several EU countries - such as Cyprus and Spain - that Kosovo sets a dangerous precedent.
Kosovo, Mr Miliband said, was a unique situation which deserved a unique response. Both ministers insisted that the whole Balkan region, including Serbia, would be part of the EU.
Their Slovenian colleague Dimitrij Rupel, whose country was the first to break away from Yugoslavia, described this as the end of the Yugoslav crisis. "I understand many EU members will recognise Kosovo", he said, "but this is not up to the EU as a whole".
Oana Lungescu, BBC News, Brussels
stood shoulder to shoulder
sets a dangerous precedent
a unique situation
to break away from