Syria has accepted a proposal from Russia aimed at averting President Obama from taking military action.
As a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, Russia has leveraged its position – and its alliance with Syria – to petition Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem to put Syria’s chemical weapons sites under international control.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov‘s idea for the proposal was inspired by comments from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry who, when asked whether there was anything Syrian President Bashar al-Assad‘s government could do to avoid what has been sounding like an imminent military attack, remarked:
[al-Assad] could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week.
He then added, “He isn’t about to do it, and it can’t be done, obviously.” Contrary to what he believed, Syria’s leading ally has swayed al Assad in the direction of doing just that.
Lavrov has reported that Russia is currently working with Syria to prepare a detailed plan of action; it will be finalized with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and presented thereafter.
President Obama has noted Lavrov’s proposal to be a “potentially significant breakthrough,” and if Syria does follow through, he’s “absolutely” willing to put a pause on military strike.