MOSCOW -- Syria says it has accepted Russia's proposal to place its chemical weapons under international control for subsequent dismantling.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Tuesday after meeting with Russian parliament speaker that his government quickly agreed to the Russian initiative to "derail the U.S. aggression."
The announcment cam just just after France announced it would seek a U.N. Security Council resolution seeking a similar plan.
Meanwhile, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia is now working with Syria to prepare a detailed plan of action, which will be presented shortly.
Lavrov said that Russia 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.
President Barack Obama said Monday the Russian proposal coffered a path that could avert U.S. missile strikes, but said he remained skeptical that Syria would follow through.
In a further development, a spokesman for Vladimir Putin said the Russian president had discussed the weapons handover plan with Obama at last week’s G-20 summit.
The president will travel to Capitol Hill Tuesday to meet with the Senate Democratic Caucus and Senate Republican Conference before delivering an address to the nation from the East Room of the White House at 7:01 p.m. MDT.
His case for limited airstrikes targeting Assad's regime was boosted early Tuesday when a Human Rights Watch report blamed Syrian government forces for the Aug. 21 poison gas attack that killed hundreds of people.
The U.S.-based rights group said it had reached its conclusion after analyzing witness accounts, remnants of the weapons used and medical records of victims.