- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 18, 2012

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council has delayed a vote on a new Syria resolution until Thursday in a last-minute effort to get key Western nations and Russia to reach agreement on measures to end the dramatically escalating violence.

Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the U.N.-Arab League special envoy for Syria, urged the council to delay Wednesday’s scheduled vote after a bombing in the heart of Syria‘s capital killed the defense minister and his deputy, the brother-in-law of President Bashar Assad.

Ambassadors from the five veto-wielding permanent council nations — the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France — met behind closed doors late Wednesday morning to discuss Mr. Annan’s request.

Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, later told reporters, “A possible vote has been postponed until tomorrow morning.”