eMediaWorld.com Reports Syria Accepts Russian Proposal To Surrender Chemical Weapons, Foreign Minister Says
The Associated Press reports Syria’s Foreign Minister has said his country has accepted a Russian proposal to relinquish control of its chemical arms stores:
On Monday, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem stated that his country welcomed the Russian proposal, which called for Syria to place its chemical weapons under international control and for the weapons to be destroyed.
No time frame or further details were given about the proposal. It remained unclear whether Syria was making genuine strides toward a diplomatic resolution to the conflict that began in March 2011, or if the proposal was a ploy by Syrian President Bashar Assad to buy more time in the face of a potential U.S. strike.
Syria said Tuesday it has accepted Russia’s proposal to place its chemical weapons under international control for subsequent dismantling.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Tuesday after meeting with Russian parliament speaker that his government quickly “agreed to the Russian initiative.”
Al-Moallem added that Syria did so to “uproot U.S. aggression.”
His statement sounded more definitive than his remarks Monday, when he said that Damascus welcomed Russia’s initiative.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday that Russia is now working with Syria to prepare a detailed plan of action, which will be presented shortly.
Lavrov said that Russia will then be ready to finalize the plan together with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
President Barack Obama said Monday the Russian proposal could be “potentially a significant breakthrough,” but he remained skeptical that Syria would follow through.