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Syria welcomes proposal to give up, dismantle chemical weapons

MOSCOW – Syria’s foreign minister says his country welcomes Russia’s proposal for it to place its chemical weapons under international control and then dismantle them quickly to avert U.S. strikes.

The statement from Walid al-Moallem came a few hours after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Syrian President Bashar Assad could resolve the crisis surrounding the alleged use of chemical weapons by his forces by surrendering control of “every single bit” of his arsenal to the international community by the end of the week.

Hours after Kerry’s statement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia would urge Syria to quickly put its chemical weapons under international control, then dismantle them.

Lavrov, who held talks with al-Moallem in Moscow earlier in the day, said he expected a quick positive answer from Syria.

Al-Moallem, however, wouldn’t give any further details in his brief statement and didn’t take any questions.

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