Leaders in Britain, Germany and France on Saturday welcomed a deal between Russia and the United States to destroy Syria's chemical weapons and said urgent work would now take place to implement the plan.
"Have spoken to Secretary (John) Kerry," British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on his Twitter feed of the U.S. Secretary of State. "UK welcomes US-Russia agreement on Syria chemical weapons. Urgent work on implementation now to take place."
The U.S. and Russia agreed earlier on Saturday on a proposal to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons arsenal, averting the possibility of any immediate U.S. military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government.
France welcomed the deal as an "important step forward" and said that talks on Monday in Paris would focus on its implementation.
"The draft agreement reached in Geneva about eliminating the Syrian regime's chemical weapons is an important step forward," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in a statement shortly after the deal was struck.
Fabius, who spoke with his U.S. counterpart shortly before the agreement was announced, added that France would clarify its position based on the findings of U.N. weapons inspectors' investigation into a chemical gas attack in Syria last month.
The deal reached between Moscow and Washington could yield a fresh opportunity for a political settlement to the conflict, Germany said Saturday.
"If words are followed by actions, the chances of a political solution will have increased considerably," German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in a statement.
"Lasting peace... can only be reached through a political settlement and not a military solution," Westerwelle said.
© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.