The US House of Representatives voted in favor of legislation to impose limited sanctions against Syria on Wednesday October 15, 2003. The bill calls for sanctions to be imposed until such time as US President Bush declares that Syria has stopped sponsoring terrorism and has halted chemical and biological weapons programs.
"Syria is two-faced, throwing a few small bones of information to American sources while continuing to aid the most violent terrorist groups in the Middle East," said Democratic representative and chief sponsor of the Syria Accountability Act, Eliot Engel in AP.
Accusing Syria of financing terrorists, occupying Lebanon and developing weapons of mass destruction (WMD), the US House of Representatives' International Relations Committee approved the Act by a vote of 33-2 on October 8. The legislation calls for Bush to select two sanctions from a list that includes barring US exports to and investment in Syria, except for food and medicine and freezing Syrian government assets in the United States.
The measure would also keep Syria on the US Department of State's list of nations that sponsor terrorism, demand that Syria withdraw its troops from Lebanon, and hold Syria responsible for terrorism against US military forces in Iraq.
Syria criticized the US government’s preliminary approval of the sanction program. The Arab state’s official newspaper Teshreen , called the policy’s designers "a group of extremists who are trying to increase tension between Arabs and the American administration.” — (menareport.com)
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