Russia idea on Syria arms ‘positive’

Kyodo

Japan views as a “positive” move Russia’s suggestion that Syria place its chemical weapons under international control to avert a U.S. military strike, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Tuesday.

“Although we need to closely look at the proposal made by Russia, we also believe it is a positive development,” Suga told a news conference.

On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov promised to push Syria, a close ally of Moscow, to place its chemical weapons under international control and then quickly dismantle them to avert a U.S. strike as punishment for a gas attack on Syrian residents near Damascus last month.

Suga said the government will seek conditions under which the chemical weapons would never be used again, and that it is “closely watching whether the Syrian government will make a sincere response” to the Russian proposal.