BRUSSELS, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Tuesday welcomed Russia's proposal for the Syrian government to hand over its chemical weapons and place them under international control.
"This now needs to be fully worked up as quickly as possible including the details of its implications in terms of safe storage, verification and destruction," Ashton said in a statement. "The EU stands ready to fully support any proposal and its implementation."
Ashton said that the EU was working closely with international partners on this issue, adding that the 28-member bloc "welcomes the statement by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the intention of France to introduce a resolution in the UN Security Council to give effect to the proposal."
Ashton also urged Syria to accede to the chemical weapons convention and to ratify the biological weapons convention as a matter of urgency.
"We look to the Syrian authorities to take full responsibility for ensuring that their chemical weapons are stored securely pending independently verified destruction and are not permitted to fall into the hands of any other state or non-state actor," she added.
"I hope that these developments will facilitate the resumption of efforts towards a political solution to the Syrian conflict," Ashton said.
"I urge all partners in the international community to seize this momentum to reinvigorate the process leading to the swift holding of a peace conference on Syria as proposed in the U.S.-Russia initiative," she said.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said on Tuesday that the Syrian government had accepted the Russian proposal to put its chemical weapons under international control to "stave off" a possible U.S. aggression.