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Syrian PM Hails U.S.-Russian Deal as 'Sole Exit' from Crisis; McCain, Graham Blast 'Act of Provocative Weakness' by U.S.


McCain and Graham say a Syrian chemical weapons agreement praised by Obama is meaningless.

US Republican Senator John McCain (L) and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (R) address a news conference on August 6, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. The two leading US Senators urged Egypt’s leaders to engage in an ‘inclusive’ dialogue with supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi as a way out of the crippling political crisis. (Credit: AFP/Getty Images)\n

(TheBlaze/AP) -- Syria's prime minister welcomes the deal brokered by the United States and Russia to avert a military strike against his country over its use of chemical weapons.

Wael Nader al-Halqi says Syria views the diplomatic solution as the "sole exit" from the crisis, according to the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency, CNN reports.

Syrian Prime Minister Wael Nader al-Halqi (right) is welcomed by Iranian Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi (left) after his arrival in Tehran, Iran, in January. (Credit: AP)

But two Republican senators who have sharply criticized President Barack Obama's foreign policy say a Syrian chemical weapons agreement praised by Obama is meaningless.

Arizona's John McCain and South Carolina's Lindsey Graham say friends and enemies of the U.S. will view the deal as "an act of provocative weakness" by America.

They argue that the agreement will embolden Iran as it continues its push for a nuclear weapon.

U.S. Republican Senators John McCain (Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.). (Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

The senators say Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will just use the time the agreement gives him to delay and deceive the world.

Further, McCain and Graham argue that the agreement doesn't resolve the underlying civil war that has caused the deaths of more than 100,000 people and turned millions of Syrians into refugees.

After days of intense negotiations, the United States and Russia reached agreement Saturday on a framework to secure and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons by the mid-2014 and impose U.N. penalties if the Assad government fails to comply.

The deal, announced by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva, requires Damascus to submit a full inventory of its stocks within the next week. It also includes what Kerry called “a shared assessment” of the weapons stockpile and a timetable and measures for Assad to comply.



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