Bush maintains Syria sanctions

President Bush renewed sanctions on Syria. On Wednesday, Bush extended for a year the national emergency he declared in May 2004 and expanded in April 2006.Under the Syria Accountability Act, which Congress passed in 2003, Bush has withdrawn the U.S. ambassador from Damascus, stopped Syrian flights to the United States, banned some U.S. exports to Syria and frozen some Syrian property in the United States. Congress passed the sanctions in part to force Syria to stop harboring and backing anti-Israel terrorists.”The actions of the government of Syria in supporting terrorism, interfering in Lebanon, pursuing weapons of mass destruction and missile programs, and undermining United States and international efforts with respect to the stabilization and reconstruction of Iraq pose a continuing unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy and economy of the United States,” the president said.Bush has yet to institute the full range of sanctions available to him. He has not banned U.S. business from dealing with Syria, nor has he limited the movement of Syrian diplomats in the United States.

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