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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Damascus Hails US-Russia Deal on Syria Chemical Weapons

RIA Novosti

15:20 15/09/2013 DAMASCUS, September 15 (RIA Novosti) – Damascus has welcomed the deal reached between the US and Russia to put Syria’s chemical weapons under the international control, the country’s minister of national reconciliation said Sunday.

“We welcome these agreements. On the one hand, they will help Syrians come out of the crisis, and on the other hand, they prevented the war against Syria by having removed a pretext for those who wanted to unleash it [war],” Ali Haidar said in the interview with RIA Novosti.

The minister said the deal is “the achievement of the Russian diplomacy and the Russian leadership.” “This is a victory for Syria won thanks to our Russian friends,” Haidar said.

After weeks of intense diplomacy and almost three days of talks in Geneva between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his US counterpart John Kerry, the United States and Russia reached a landmark deal Saturday that will see all chemical weapons in war-torn Syria brought under international control and destroyed by mid-2014.

International governments and organizations welcomed the deal on Saturday evening. Syria’s opposition criticized the agreement as a “blow” to the uprising to remove Syrian President Bashar Assad from power.

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