US extends Syria sanctions by a year

White House: Penalties to target "certain persons" who continually try to destabilize Lebanon.

July 31, 2009 15:35
1 minute read.
US extends Syria sanctions by a year

mitchell assad 248 88. (photo credit: AP)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Despite diplomatic overtures by the United States towards Syria, which most recently saw US Mideast envoy George Mitchell meet Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus, US President Barack Obama has decided to extend sanctions against the country for another year. In a press release issued by the White House on Friday, Obama explained that the sanctions targeted the property of "certain persons undermining the sovereignty of Lebanon," its "democratic processes," and its "institutions." The aim of these unnamed people, the statement went on, was "to contribute to the deliberate breakdown in the rule of law in Lebanon, including through politically motivated violence and intimidation; to reassert Syrian control or contribute to Syrian interference in Lebanon, or to infringe upon or undermine Lebanese sovereignty and contribute to political and economic instability" in the country. The renewed sanctions go into effect on August 1. In his statement, the US president acknowledged recent attempts to engage the Syrians in dialogue, and seemed to suggest that talks between the two countries would continue irrespective of the sanctions. "Despite some positive developments in the past year, including the establishment of diplomatic relations and an exchange of ambassadors between Syria and Lebanon, [the sanctions] must continue in effect beyond August 1, 2009," he said. The current sanctions were first imposed under former US president George Bush in 2007. During the Bush administration, tensions between Syria and the United States reached a boiling point, with America at one point naming Syria a part of the "Axis of Evil," which also included North Korea and Iran. Under Obama's leadership, Washington has tried to thaw relations. It is believed that the US hopes Damascus will play a critical role in the success of a regional peace plan over the coming years.

Related Content

Antiquities are unwrapped as thousands of priceless antiques from across war-ravaged Syria are gathe
August 19, 2018
India’s looted past and terrorism funding