(MOSCOW) — Russia will soon present a “feasible, clear, and concrete plan” to secure Syria’s chemical weapons, the country’s foreign minister said on Tuesday.
“We are going to announce this plan soon and we will be ready to fine-tune and discuss it” with the international community, Sergei Lavrov said during a press conference with his Libyan counterpart.
Russia proposed the idea on Monday and it was quickly welcomed by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem. According to Interfax, Moualem announced on Tuesday that Syria “accepted” the proposal.
“We held a round of very effective talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov yesterday. He proposed a chemical weapons initiative and we accepted the Russian initiative later that evening,” Moualem said, adding that they did so to “stave off American aggression.”
Lavrov said the plan came about through contacts with the U.S. and after Secretary of State John Kerry’s remarks on Monday.
“The proposal for establishing international control over Syria’s chemical weapons is not quite Russian. It derives from exchanges we had with American colleagues and from yesterday’s statement by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who said that a strike could be avoided if this problem is solved,” Lavrov said.
President Obama also said on Monday that such a move would halt his plans for a military strike, but said it would need to be verified.
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Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN