Israel welcomes US-Russian statement on Syria

 Israel welcomes US-Russian statement on Syria

Israeli officials gave a lukewarm reaction to an international agreement laying out principles for post-war Syria.

Israeli Intelligence Minister Israel Katz told The Associated Press that an international agreement on Syria would be a positive development, but stressed that Israel is not a party to this deal and would defend its interests.

"We have proved that before and we will prove it again in the future," Katz said.

The agreement, announced in a U.S.-Russian statement on Saturday, confirmed the importance of "de-escalation areas" as an interim step toward reducing violence, enforcing cease-fire agreements, facilitating humanitarian aid and setting conditions for the "ultimate political solution" to a war that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

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