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.

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Image: USA Today

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.

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