Syrian Official Says Chemical Deal A 'victory' - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Syrian Official Says Chemical Deal A 'victory'

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BEIRUT (AP) - A high-ranking Syrian official has welcomed the U.S.-Russian agreement to secure and destroy Syria's chemical weapons arsenal, calling it a "victory" for Damascus.
    
The comments Sunday from Minister of National Reconciliation Ali Haidar to Russian state news agency RIA Novosti are the first by a senior Syrian government official on the deal struck a day earlier in Geneva.
    
RIA Novosti quoted Haidar as saying the agreement "will help Syrians get out of the crisis" and also "averted a war against Syria by removing the pretext for those who wanted to unleash one."
    
The United States had threatened to carry out punitive strikes against Syria over a suspected chemical attack last month that Washington blames on the Damascus regime.
    
Haidar credited Russia with brokering the deal.

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