DAMASCUS, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- Syrian Minister of National Reconciliation, Ali Haidar, hailed Sunday a recent Russian-U.S. deal on Syria, considering the move as "a victory for Syria."
"This is a victory for Syria. Thanks to our Russian friends," Haidar told Russia's Ria Novosti news agency.
The minister's remarks came as the Syrian government has not officially commented on the deal that was struck a day earlier between Moscow and Washington and designed to strip Syria of its chemical arsenal in exchange for the halt of a U.S.-planned military strike against Syria.
"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)," Haidar said.
The Barack Obama administration has sought to resort to a military action against Syria, following allegations by the Syrian rebels that troops of the Damascus government used chemical weapons against civilians in a countryside of the capital on Aug. 21, reportedly killing hundreds.
Washington said it had evidence that the Syrian government was behind the incident, a claim the latter strongly denied.
For its part, Moscow said it believed the rebels staged a false flag attack to frame the Assad government and push the international community to militarily intervene in Syria.
After long wrangling and tit-for-tat media statements, Russia proposed an initiative to strip Syria of its chemical weapons. The last-minute proposition was hailed by Damascus, which said it would surrender its chemical stokes not because of fears of a possible U.S. strike, but of its confidence in "Russia's wisdom."
Moreover, Syria applied for joining the Chemical Weapons Convention, which outlaws the production, possession and use of chemical weapons, and the UN confirmed receiving the treaty papers from Syria.