“agreed to the Russian initiative” to place the country’s chemical weapons under international control for subsequent dismantling, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said on Tuesday.
He added that Syria did so to “uproot U.S. aggression.”
On Wednesday U.S. President Barack Obama said that he would “absolutely” pause plans for strikes on Syria if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was serious about ceding control of the WMD stockpiles.
Moscow and Damascus “expect to present this plan soon” to the UN, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Agence-France Presse on Tuesday.
The Syrian opposition denounced the notion as a political manoeuvre “that will only result in more deaths and destruction for the Syrian people” and called for military retaliation on Assad’s regime for a August 21 chemical weapons attack.
Germany, the U.K., and France acknowledged the potential deal but remain sceptical.
On Tuesday France said it would propose a United Nations Security Council resolution that will call for Syria to allow inspectors to oversee the destruction of chemical weapons in the country and for Syria to become a member of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
What the Russian move will certainly do is delay any U.S. decision on a strike.
“I don’t anticipate that you would see a succession of votes this week or anytime in the immediate future,” Obama told ABC news.
The potential breakthrough arose from an offhand remark by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that the Kremlin pounced on. Last night Obama said that he has discussed the topic with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week at the G-20 summit.
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