The Syrian government hailed a U.S.-Russian deal to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile as “a victory” for the country, Syrian minister of state for national reconciliation Ali Haidar said on Sunday.
“On one hand, it helps the Syrians emerge from the crisis and on the other it has allowed for averting war against Syria...,” Haidar said in an interview with Russian news agency Ria Novosti, according to Agence France-Presse.
“It’s a victory for Syria that was achieved thanks to our Russian friends.”
The deal was also welcomed by Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi on Sunday, saying it will help to find a political solution to the conflict.
The deal “is a step closer to a political solution,” Arabi said in a statement.
On Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced an agreement to eliminate Syria’s chemical arms stockpile, after three days of talks in Geneva.
The deal intends to bring Syria’s chemical weapons under international control by the middle of next year and leaves the door open to sanctions if Damascus fails to comply, but does not specify what they would be.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has a week to hand over details of his regime’s stockpile of chemical weapons and Kerry said he must provide “immediate and unfettered” access to chemical weapons inspectors.
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