Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.jpg
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
Photograph: EPA/GEOFFREY VAN DER HASSELT / POOL

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says she does not "underestimate the challenges" that Scotland faces to stay within the EU after Britain leaves the bloc, but adds that she is "optimistic" following talks in Brussels.

"We are at an early stage," Sturgeon says, noting that Britain's formal process to leave the EU is not yet underway. "We need to continue to look at all possible options," she adds.

"I am not here to make an argument for independence. ... I am here to make an argument that Scotland should stay in the EU," the minister says, after the majority of Scottish voters aligned themselves with the Remain camp in last week's referendum.

"Scotland won the right to be heard in Brussels," said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who met Sturgeon earlier in the day.

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