France to seek UN backing for Russian plan on Syrian chemical arsenal

The New York Times reports: As the diplomatic pace quickened around Russia’s plan for Syria to relinquish control of its chemical weapons, France said on Tuesday it would propose a United Nations Security Council resolution enshrining the idea while Moscow said it was working with the authorities in Damascus on a “workable, precise and concrete plan” to carry the proposal forward.

“We are hoping to present this plan in the near future,” Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said. “We will be ready to work through this plan and improve it with the participation of the U.N. general secretary, with chemical weapons control organizations and with the members of the Security Council.”

The Russian blueprint also won backing from China, which has resisted Western calls for military action against Syria but said on Tuesday that it supported Moscow’s avowed effort to avert an American strike following last month’s poison gas attacks outside Damascus.

Hours before President Obama planned to deliver a major national address on the Syrian crisis, the rapid-fire developments elicited skepticism from many regional and international players who questioned the motives behind the Russian gambit and questioned whether Moscow’s plan would enable the Syrian authorities to buy time. [Continue reading…]

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