UNITED NATIONS - Negotiations on a resolution to extend a UN monitoring mission in Syria began on Thursday between a deeply divided UN Security Council with Russia saying it would not agree to a threat of sanctions in a bid to end the 16-month conflict.
The 15-member council must decide the future of the UN mission, known as UNSMIS, before July 20, when its 90-day mandate expires. UNSMIS was deployed to monitor a failed ceasefire as part of international envoy Kofi Annan's six-point peace plan.
Russia has proposed extending the mission for 90 days, but Britain, the United States, France and Germany countered with a draft resolution to extend the mission for just 45 days and place Annan's peace plan under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter.
Chapter 7 allows the council to authorize actions ranging from diplomatic and economic sanctions to military intervention. US officials have said they are talking about sanctions on Syria, not military intervention.
Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger: