The Syrian government agrees to Russia’s proposal to hand its chemical arsenal over to international control in a bid to avert a possible strike by the US-led coalition, Interfax reported citing the Syrian Foreign Minister.
“Yesterday [Monday] we held a round of very fruitful negotiations with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and he put forward an initiative regarding chemical weapons. Already in the evening we acceptedRussia’s initiative,” Walid Muallem said.
He stressed that the agreement is designed to “pull the rug from under the feet of American aggression.”
It follows as Russia proposed to Syrian authorities that they put their chemical weapons under international control and then allow their further destruction. This would be a condition to avoid military involvement in the country as the US Congress was expected to vote on whether to give a green light for a strike after President Obama suggested “limited action”.
In response to Russia’s proposal, Barack Obama said he “would consider this a modestly positive development” and he was willing to “absolutely” put on pause a military strike on Syria if Bashar Assad accepts the offer.
“Let’s see if we can come up with language that avoids a strike, but accomplishes our key goals to make sure that these chemical weapons are not used,” Obama told ABC News.
Following a day of debates, the US Senate announced it would not file for a test vote on a resolution to strike Syria.
“Normally, what I would do in a situation like this is file cloture today. But I don’t think that’s to our benefit. I don’t think we need to see how fast we can do this. We have to see how well we can do this matter,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Russia will soon present a precise plan for a resolution to the chemical weapon problem.
“We are now working on this – working out efficient precise plan, for that we are in talks with Syrian side. We expect to present the plan, including to the US, in the nearest future. We are ready to elaborate it with the UN secretary- general, UNSC members and with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons,” Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.
However, Lavrov stressed, this work does not exclude the necessity of investigation of all cases in which chemical weapons were used.
“UN experts should return to Syria and complete their mandate in full. The truth must be found, those responsible should be held accountable,” he continued.