Divided Security Council to Vote on Syria Resolution

Posted July 18th, 2012 at 4:00 am (UTC-5)
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The United Nations Security Council is expected to vote Wednesday on a resolution that would extend the U.N. observer mission in Syria.

The mission's mandate expires Friday, and the Council has been divided over whether a new resolution should include a threat of sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad's government.

Britain, France, the United States and Germany have proposed a draft calling for sanctions if Syria does not implement U.N. envoy Kofi Annan's peace plan. Russia has promised to veto that version. Its draft does not include any sanctions.

In a meeting Wednesday with Chinese President Hu Jintao, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed hope that the Security Council will unite to help end the bloodshed in Syria and help the country's people begin working toward a Syrian-led transition.

The push for consensus comes amid continuing violence in Syria, including days of clashes in Damascus.