Syria said it will acknowledge that it possesses chemical weapons and is willing to sign onto the convention banning them, according to a new report from the Associated Press.
"We fully support Russia's initiative concerning chemical weapons in Syria, and we are ready to cooperate. As a part of the plan, we intend to join the Chemical Weapons Convention," Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem was reported to have said in an interview.
The concessions come just hours ahead of a speech by President Barack Obama in which he originally was expected to urge Congress to approve a military strike on Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons against rebel forces there. It then was expected that he would admonish and urge Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to turn over its chemical weapons to international authorities.
The White House response to the latest developments is not yet known, though Obama previously said of potential new pledges, "To paraphrase Ronald Reagan ... we don't just trust, but we also verify."
"I'm sure they're scrambling right now with edits [of Obama's speech], because the situation on the ground is changing as we speak," Marc Thiessen, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street." "It's a very different speech than it was 24 hours ago."
Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat, said that the turn of events is fortuitous for the White House. "The president got lucky. ... It was going to be very tough to get enough Democrats and Republicans in the House to approve military action."
Rendell added that any agreement with Assad should come with the understanding that if the Syrian regime violates it, the U.S. will respond quickly with force, hopefully with benefit of backing from the international community.
Earlier, a White House official said Obama agreed to discussions at the United Nations Security Council on a proposal from Russia to secure Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles.
The official said Obama discussed the proposal Tuesday with French President François Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron. France's foreign minister says France will float a resolution in the U.N. Security Council aimed at forcing Syria to make public its chemical weapons program, place it under international control and dismantle it.
Obama said the proposal marked a potential breakthrough that could halt plans for a U.S. military strike, though he said the details remain unclear.
The official requested anonymity because the officials was not authorized to discuss the private conversations.