Syrian state television and Russian news agency Interfax are reporting that the government of Bashar al-Assad has accepted a Russian proposal to hand over its chemical weapons in order to save the country from a US-led military intervention.
The aim is to get them destroyed, however the details of how exactly that will be carried out has not been agreed.
Speaking on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that they are “preparing concrete proposals, a plan in other words, that will be presented to all the parties concerned, certainly to the United States.” He added that Russia has been “in contact with John Kerry”.
The secretary of state said Washington was debating the feasibility of Russia’s plan and whether it would meet the country’s aim of ending the al-Assad regime’s ability to use chemical weapons.
John Kerry said:
“This can’t be a process of delay, this can’t be a process of avoidance that has to be real, has to be measurable, has to be tangible and it is exceedingly difficult, I want to everybody here to know, to fulfil those conditions. But we’re waiting for that proposal, but we’re not waiting for long.”
The U.S. Senate had been expected to vote this week on a resolution authorising a military intervention in Syria, however the latest developments have led to a postponement.