The Security Council which has been meeting to discuss the Middle East violence, especially the hostilities between Hezbollah and Israel, may be days away from taking any practical measures, diplomats said.
"What is important for the Council is to work on a contribution for a sustainable solution," UNSC's current President, Jean Marc de la Sabliere of France, said after the Council held closed-door consultations yesterday.
Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari, who briefed the meeting, later said he had told them the situation had deteriorated to the point of an "open war".
But Sabliere said work towards a lasting solution was much more important than any resolution, press statement or other declaration that could be produced quickly.
American Ambassador John Bolton, taking a tough line, squarely blamed Hamas and Hezbollah for the crisis and said the issue could be resolved in a "nanosecond" if they released three Israeli soldiers taken prisoners and stopped acts of terrorism against the Jewish state.
Israel, he said, has the right to self-defence like any other democracy.
Replying to question, Bolton made it clear the Council would like to hear the assessment of the UN high-level team led by Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special adviser Vijay Nambiar before taking any decision.
Sabliere said while the Security Council is not "orienting" the Secretariat team, which was operating under Kofi Annan, it is in constant touch with its members.