Syria welcomes Russian proposal to dismantle chemical arsenal

To avert U.S. strikes, Assad's regime says it would place its chemical weapons under international control

Topics: Russia, Chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad, Syria, Civil War, U.S. Military, Middle East,

MOSCOW (AP) — Syria’s foreign minister says his country welcomes Russia’s proposal for it to place its chemical weapons under international control and then dismantle them quickly to avert U.S. strikes.

The statement from Walid al-Moallem came a few hours after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Syrian President Bashar Assad could resolve the crisis surrounding the alleged use of chemical weapons by his forces by surrendering control of “every single bit” of his arsenal to the international community by the end of the week.

Hours after Kerry’s statement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow would urge Syria to quickly put its chemical weapons under international control, then dismantle them.

Lavrov, who held talks with al-Moallem in Moscow earlier in the day, said he expected a quick positive answer from Damascus.

Al-Moallem, however, wouldn’t give any further details in his brief statement and didn’t take any questions.

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