Kim Hjelmgaard and Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY
The Syrian government has accepted a Russian proposal to turn over its chemical weapons to international control to avoid a military confrontation with the United States, Syria's foreign minister said Tuesday.
"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 accepted Russia's initiative," Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said after meeting with the speaker of the Russian parliament.
Muallem said Damascus accepted the Russian initiative to "derail the U.S. aggression."
The report was initially carried by the Russian news agency Interfax.
Meanwhile, Lavrov said that Russia is now working with Syria to prepare a detailed plan of action, which will be presented shortly.
He said Moscow 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 Obama has threatened to use U.S. military action against Syria in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack that killed more than 1,400 people in a Damascus suburb. Syria has denied the charge.
The latest developments came as France said it would put before the United Nations Security Council a resolution appealing to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad to make public the details of its chemical weapons program.The Arab League also announced that it would back the Russian proposal, AFP reports.