WASHINGTON — Syria has accepted a Russian proposal aimed at averting a U.S. military strike, Russia’s Interfax news agency reported Tuesday.
After “a very fruitful round of talks” with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday, “we agreed to the Russian initiative,” Syrian Foreign Minister Foreign Minister Walid Moallem was quoted as saying.
China also said it welcomes and supports the proposal, the Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman said Tuesday.
Like Russia, China is a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council and has used its veto power to block some resolutions against Syria.
The proposal — to put the country’s chemical weapons sites under international control — stemmed from off-the-cuff remarks made by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
Asked Monday whether there was anything Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government could do to avoid an attack, Kerry said al-Assad “could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week.
“He isn’t about to do it, and it can’t be done, obviously,” Kerry said.
Russia, Syria’s leading ally, quickly urged al-Assad to do just that.
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