Scotland will fight to stay in the European Union and will therefore start preparing for a new vote on independence from Britain, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says.

"I want to make it absolutely clear today that I intend to take all possible steps and to secure our continuing place in the EU and in the single market," Sturgeon says, reacting to Britain's vote to leave the EU.

Scottish voters opted against leaving Britain in a 2014 referendum as many feared that such a step would take Scotland out of the EU, but the situation has now changed, Sturgeon says.

She makes clear that she cannot announce a new referendum yet, as this issue will be for Scotland's legislature to decide.

In any case, a referendum would have to be held within the two years that the British government now has to negotiate an exit from the EU, she says.

Latest news

Australian ex-PM slams Netanyahu for 'torpedoing' peace process

Former Australian premier Kevin Rudd has accused Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu of "torpedoing" peace negotiations in the Middle East.

Weekly "Novosti" dismisses NGO's accusations

The newspaper today also dismissed all accusations the NGO presented at a recent news conference, and retorted that the NGO's criticism were ill-intended and untrue accusations.

Sixteen killed in fighting between army and rebels in Congo

Sixteen fighters from the reactivated Congolese rebel movement M23 have been killed during two days of fighting with the army in the east of the country, a military spokesman said Thursday.

Maltese FM on behalf of EU calls for preservation of stability in BiH

Maltese Foreign Minister George Vella said in Sarajevo on Thursday that his country, as the current chair of the European Union, closely followed the developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and other parts of the Western Balkans.

Croatia-Hungary committee on minorities meets after four-year hiatus

The Croatia-Hungary Intergovernmental Committee for the implementation of the agreement on the protection of the rights of the respective ethnic minorities met in Zagreb on Thursday after a four-year hiatus.

Syrian rebels claim full control of al-Bab, defeating IS

Syrian rebels backed by Turkey said Thursday they are fully in control of al-Bab, wresting it from Islamic State after a military campaign that began in November and cost hundreds of lives.

HURS says Croatia fails to create conditions for long-term growth

The Croatian Association of Workers' Trade Unions (HURS) warned on Thursday that a report which the European Commission released on Wednesday showed that Croatia had failed to create conditions for a long-term economic growth, adding that the situation in the Podravka food company suggested the continuation of the trend of shutting down jobs in the production sector.

Italy seizes 20 million in assets from Mafia clan

Italian police on Thursday seized assets worth 20 million euros (about 21 million dollars) from a renowned clan of the Neapolitan Camorra Mafia.

Naples doctor nabbed with 50 kilograms of drugs in car boot

Police in Naples on Thursday arrested an Italian doctor who was driving around with 50 kilograms of drugs in the boot of his car.

Two German archaeologists kidnapped in northern Nigeria

Unknown gunmen have kidnapped two German nationals in northern Nigeria, police said Thursday.

UN talks peace with Syrian regime, opposition as fighting escalates

The United Nations launched a new effort at Syrian peace talks in Geneva on Thursday, as heavy fighting between regime and rebel forces dampened hopes for any quick solution to end the war after nearly six years.

EU anti-fraud office eyeing claims against Merkel challenger Schulz

Martin Schulz, the main contender against German Chancellor Angela Merkel in upcoming elections, could face a probe for advocating questionable bonuses and promotions while European Parliament president, the EU's anti-fraud office said Thursday.