The threat of imminent U.S. military action appeared to fade Tuesday as Syria agreed to a Russian proposal to surrender its chemical weapons to international control and President Barack Obama said he would “explore seriously” the proposal.
Obama spoke to his French and British counterparts and “they agreed to work closely together, and in consultation with Russia and China” on a plan that would ensure the “verifiable and enforceable destruction" of Syria’s chemical weapons, according to a White House official speaking on the condition of anonymity.
The negotiations were to begin Tuesday at the United Nations and were expected to result in a Security Council resolution, according to the official.
France said it would propose a resolution that would include a requirement that the persons responsible for an Aug. 21 alleged chemical weapons attack in a Damascus suburb be referred to the International Criminal Court for trial. The Australian Ambassador to the U.N. said talks were expected to begin at 4 p.m.