Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Barack Obama extends US sanctions against Syria

President Barack Obama extended US sanctions against Syria, saying yesterday it supported terrorist organisations and pursued weapons of mass destruction and missile programmes.

Syria's actions and policies "pose a continuing unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States", Obama said in a statement.

He noted that the Syrian government had "made some progress in suppressing foreign fighter networks infiltrating suicide bombers into Iraq".

The Obama administration has been trying to forge a rapprochement with Syria, which it sees as crucial to Middle East peace efforts and stabilising the nascent democracy in neighbouring Iraq.

The outreach effort came under fire last month as a congressional panel questioned its wisdom amid charges that Damascus has sought to arm Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas with Scud missiles.

"As we have communicated to the Syrian government directly, Syrian actions will determine whether this national emergency is renewed or terminated in the future," Obama said.


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