Tuesday, September 10, 2013
A White House official says President Barack Obama has agreed to discussions at the United Nations Security Council on a proposal from Russia to secure Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles.
The official says the president discussed the proposal Tuesday with French President Francois Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron. France's foreign minister says France will float a resolution in the U.N. Security Council aimed at forcing Syria to make public its chemical weapons program, place it under international control and dismantle it.
President Obama has said the proposal marks a potential breakthrough that could halt plans for a U.S. military strike, though he said the details remain unclear.
The official requested anonymity because the officials was not authorized to discuss the private conversations by name.
Syria says it has accepted Russia's proposal to place its chemical weapons under international control for subsequent dismantling.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Tuesday after meeting with Russian parliament speaker that his government quickly agreed to the Russian initiative to "derail the U.S. aggression."
Meanwhile, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia is now working with Syria to prepare a detailed plan of action, which will be presented shortly.
Lavrov said that Russia 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 Barack Obama said Monday the Russian proposal could be "potentially a significant breakthrough," but he remained skeptical that Syria would follow through.