Russia calls on Syria to hand over chemical weapons

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (above) called on the Syrian regime to hand over control of its chemical weapons arsenal to international supervision as a way of staving off the threat of military action. -- PHOTO: AFP
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (above) called on the Syrian regime to hand over control of its chemical weapons arsenal to international supervision as a way of staving off the threat of military action. -- PHOTO: AFP

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on Monday on the Syrian regime to hand over control of its chemical weapons arsenal to international supervision as a way of staving off the threat of military action.

After talks with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem in Moscow, Lavrov called on Syria to "place the chemical weapons under international control and then have them destroyed".

He said such a plan would help "avoid military strikes" that are being considered by the United States and its allies. Mr Lavrov said he had already passed the proposal to Muallem in Moscow and hoped for a "quick and positive answer" from Syria.