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Reaction to US-Russia Syria Plan Generally Favorable




A U.S. - Russian agreement on a framework for ending Syria's chemical weapons program received quick support from major Western powers.

France hailed the agreement. Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called the plan a "significant step forward."

Britain welcomed the plan. Foreign Secretary William Hague said work is promptly needed to implement the proposal.

Fabius and Hague will discuss details of the plan with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Paris on Monday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said thanks to the deal, there is a chance once more for a political solution to what she termed this terrible chemical weapons attack.

The European Union voiced support and offered assistance. Foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said a number of EU states have the technical capacity to assist in securing and dismantling chemical weapons sites in Syria.

At the U.N., Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was looking forward to learning more about the plan and hoped it would help find a political solution that would end the "appalling suffering" of the Syria people.

Not all of the reaction is positive.

The plan drew a heated rejection from the opposition Free Syrian Army. Rebel General Selim Idriss said the group could not accept the plan because it "ignored" the "massacres" of Syrians. He said his group would continue its fight against President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Syria's ally, Iran, said because of the agreement, the United States and "certain countries" no longer had a "pretext" to attack Syria. Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian also said efforts should be made to prevent "armed terrorists" from entering Syria.

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