Muallem said that after fruitful talks on Monday, Syria had decided to accept the offer Monday night.
"Syria welcomes Russias initiative, which is based on Russian concern for the lives of our citizens and the security of our country," the news agency quoted him as saying. He said Syrian acceptance was based both on Russian advice and to avert American aggression against our nation.
The governments Syrian Arab News Agency did not specifically say the plan had been accepted in its coverage of the subject. But it posted a lengthy story on its website from Moscow in which it said that "Russia is working with Syria to draw up a specific implementable plan.
"The work to carry out the plan will be in cooperation with the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the International Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and members of the U.N. Security Council," the SANA report said, citing comments Lavrov made Tuesday at a news conference in Moscow.
After weeks of discord with the Obama administration over the Aug. 21 reputed chemical weapons attack, Lavrov was quick to praise the U.S. role in both brokering and backing the deal. Before the Syrians agreed to the proposal, Lavrov made it clear it was an international deal, made with U.S. input. He also said the end product should be submitted to the United Nations Security Council.
This issue requires the return of the international investigators to their work on the Syrian ground to investigate the chemical weapons use," Lavrov said. The truth must be revealed and the criminals responsible for using these weapons must be brought to justice.
Russia has accused the Syrian rebels of using chemical weapons in an attack on Khan al Asal, outside Aleppo, in March. The Russians submitted a 100-page report on the incident to the U.N. in July.
Chinese reaction to the developments was also favorable, with a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Hong Lei, telling reporters in Beijing that the proposal can help east the current tension in Syria, solve the Syrian issue politically and safeguard peace and stability of Syria and the whole region.
France, the only country that has said it would join the United States in a military strike on Syria, said it would support the Russian proposal. But French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius attached three conditions to that support: that Assad agree to place his entire chemical weapons arsenal under international control and allow it to be destroyed," that "this operation must be carried out on the basis of a binding Security Council resolution within a short time frame," and that "those responsible for the chemical massacre on Aug. 21 ... be referred to the International Criminal Court.
His statement noted that the French goals were to punish and to deter" the use of chemical weapons.
"Thats why were now demanding specific, prompt and verifiable commitments on the part of the Syrian regime, he said.
There were skeptics. Avigdor Lieberman, who chairs the Israeli Parliaments Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, told Israel Radio on Tuesday that Syria could use the proposal to "buy time," adding that Syrian President Bashar Assad "is winning time and lots of it."
Lieberman said Syria is likely stalling, as Iran allegedly did during early nuclear negotiations when faced with an offer to transfer enriched uranium stockpiles abroad.