Russia proposes putting Syria chemical arms under global control

MOSCOW Mon Sep 9, 2013 10:34am EDT

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia said on Monday it would urge Syria to put its chemical weapons arsenal under international control if this would avert military strikes.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who called a news conference to announce the proposal, said he had already conveyed the idea to Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem at talks in Moscow and that Russia expected "a quick and, I hope, a positive answer."

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said earlier on Monday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could avoid a U.S. strike by surrendering all his chemical weapons within a week, but immediately made clear he was not making a serious offer.

(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, Writing by Steve Gutterman, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

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