Netanyahu 'supports' Russia-US deal on Syria chemical weapons
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has voiced support for an agreement reached by Washington and Moscow to place Syria's chemical weapons under international supervision. Kerry met with Netanyahu in the occupied al-Quds (Jerusalem) on Sunday, to discuss the recent agreement Washington reached with Moscow over Syria. "We've been closely following and support your ongoing efforts to rid Syria of its chemical weapons," Netanyahu said on Sunday. The agreement was reached between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Saturday, September 14, following three days of talks in Geneva. Kerry said the threat of a military strike on Syria remained until the removal of all of the Syrian government's chemical weapons. The Israeli prime minister noted that the recent agreement was a result of a military threat against Syria. However, Syrian Minister of National Reconciliation Ali Haidar has called the recent deal a victory for Damascus. Israeli media outlets said earlier on Sunday that Tel Aviv was "deeply concerned by a sense that the Obama administration has sold out the Syrian rebels and saved [Syrian President] Bashar Assad in a deal with Moscow." The talks in Geneva came following a proposal by Russia to Syria that the latter put its chemical weapons under international control. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said on Monday that his country "welcomes" the Russian offer. The Russia plan was aimed at averting a US military strike in retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack last month in Syria which the White House blames on the government. War rhetoric against Syria intensified on August 21, when the militants operating inside the country and the foreign-backed Syrian opposition claimed that over a thousand people had been killed in a government chemical attack on militant strongholds on the outskirts of Damascus. The Syrian government categorically rejected the allegation, saying the militants carried out the attack to provoke foreign military intervention.