|Damascus favors Russia solution to chemical arsenal, Arabs line up with Moscow on proposal
The Arab League will back a Russian plan to place Syria's chemical weapons under international supervision for eventual destruction, the group's chief said today.
The Arab support came as Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said Syria has "already agreed'' to the Russian initiative.
Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi said in Cairo the League will ''soon issue a statement announcing its support officially'' for the Russian plan.
Moscow made the surprise proposal on Monday. It is aimed at averting punitive US strikes against the Damascus regime for its alleged use of chemical weapons.
"Yesterday, we had a round of very fruitful negotiations with [Russian Foreign Minister] Sergei Lavrov and he came forward with an initiative on chemical weapons,'' Muallem said in Moscow after meeting the speaker of the Russian lower house of parliament in comments quoted by Russian news agencies translated from Arabic.
"And already in the evening we agreed with the Russian initiative,'' saying this would "knock the chair from under the legs of the American aggression.''
On September 1, the League urged the United Nations and the international community to take "deterrent'' action against Syria over the alleged chemical attacks near Damascus.
"The United Nations and the international community are called upon to assume their responsibilities in line with the UN Charter and international law by taking the necessary deterrant measures'' following the August 21 suspected chemical attacks, the Arab League foreign ministers said in a statement.--AFP