AP: Syria Says Renouncing Arms Shows Strength - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

AP: Syria Says Renouncing Arms Shows Strength

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A senior Syrian government official says his country's acceptance of a Russian initiative to relinquish its chemical weapons is a sign of strength.
 
Cabinet minister Ali Haidar says that by agreeing to the proposal, Damascus has removed one of the pretexts for war against Syria, although he says the threat of foreign military action remains.
 
Syria did not agree to the proposal out of "fear of any enemy" and it should not be interpreted as a concession, he says.
 
Haidar spoke Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press in Damascus.
 
He said the Russian deal is still a "broad headline" that needs to be developed. He added that Syria was ready to sign the chemical weapons convention but not if such a move is imposed.

Meanwhile, the first group of Syrian refugees have departed Beirut International Airport for Germany where they will live in temporary new homes as Germany's biggest relocation program gets under way.
 
Airport officials say the group of 107 refugees left on Wednesday for Hannover, Germany. 
 
They are the first group to be relocated under a German program for up to 5,000 Syrian refugees. U.N. refugee agency spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said Tuesday that they include women at risk, people with serious medical conditions or others with special needs. 
 
Unlike the makeshift arrangements for most of the 2 million refugees that have fled Syria's civil war into neighboring countries, the program announced by Germany in March gives them the right to work under two-year residence permits that could be extended if Syria's crisis continues.  (AP)

 

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