Obama extends sanctions against senior Syrian figures
American President Barack Obama extended sanctions against Syrian or pro-Syrian personalities for "provoking instability in neighboring Lebanon." This move came despite some positive signs from Damascus, the White House said, according to AFP.
"In the past six months, the United States has used dialogue with the Syrian government to address concerns and identify areas of mutual interest, including support for Lebanese sovereignty," the US leader said in a statement. According to him, there have been "some positive developments in the past year, including the establishment of diplomatic relations and an exchange of ambassadors between Lebanon and Syria."
But he said "the actions of certain persons continue to contribute to political and economic instability in Lebanon and the region and constitute a continuing unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States."
As a result, Obama added, he decided to extend for one year sanctions decreed August 1, 2007 by former president George W. Bush who froze the assets of individuals accused of undermining Lebanon's stability on Syria's behalf.