Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
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Russia urges Syria to give up its chemical weapons

Russia has asked Syria to put its chemical weapons stockpile under international control in a bid to avert US military strikes.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he had already conveyed the idea to his Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem.

"We also call on the Syrian leadership not only to put chemical weapons storage facilities under international control, but also to destroy it afterwards," he added.

Mr Lavrov said he did not know whether Damascus would agree, but Russia was hoping for a positive response.

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