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Published September 11, 2013, 12:00 AM

Ali Haider speaks during an interview

Ali Haidar, the Syrian Minister for Reconciliation Affairs, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Damascus, Syria on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. Cabinet minister Ali Haidar said Syria’s acceptance of a Russian initiative to relinquish its chemical weapons is a sign of strength and that by agreeing to the proposal, Syria has taken away one of the pretexts for war against Syria although he says the threat of foreign military action remains. (AP Photo)