(CBS NEWS) Syria’s foreign minister says his country welcomes Russia’s proposal for it to place its chemical weapons under international control and then dismantle them quickly to avert U.S. strikes.

Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem stopped short of saying that the Syrian government had actually accepted the proposal.

“I state that the Syrian Arab Republic welcomes the Russian initiative, motivated by the Syrian leadership’s concern for the lives of our citizens and the security of our country, and also motivated by our confidence in the wisdom of the Russian leadership, which is attempting to prevent American aggression against our people,” he said.

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