A UN Security Council vote scheduled for Wednesday on a western-drafted resolution calling for sanctions against Syria will probably be pushed back by at least one day, diplomats said.
"There are more contacts at the highest level so it will probably be delayed," a Security Council diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Foreign ministers from the five permanent Security Council members—Russia, United States, France, Britain and China—were negotiating the future of the resolution that Russia has vowed to veto, another diplomat said.
UN ambassadors from the five countries planned to hold their own talks before announcing whether the vote would go ahead, diplomats said.
The western nations want a resolution under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which threatens non-military sanctions if President Bashar al-Assad does not halt the use of heavy weapons within 10 days of a resolution being passed.
Russia fiercely opposes the threat of sanctions.
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