Bush imposes sanctions on Syria

The White House has slapped sanctions on Syria, including a freeze on certain Syrian assets in the United States and limits on exports of goods, including weaponry.

    Syrian president Bashar al-Asad has denied the allegations

    President George Bush in a statement on Tuesday said the sanctions were in response to "threats" posed by Syria to the national security, foreign policy and economy of the United States.

    Bush accused Syria of "supporting terrorism, continuing its occupation of Lebanon, pursuing weapons of mass destruction and missile programmes, and undermining US and international efforts with respect to the stabilisation and reconstruction of Iraq."

    Bush explanation

    "Syria's actions constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States and hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat," Bush said in the statement.

    The export ban and other measures on Syria also follow long-standing US complaints that the Middle Eastern country had failed to stop anti-occupation fighters from entering neighbouring Iraq.

    US bilateral trade with Syria is about $300 million a year.

    A State Department official earlier during the week said that exemptions would be made to any export restrictions to allow the sale of aircraft spare parts, so that Syrian planes are not endangered and to allow the sale of communications equipment, to help Syrians get access to outside information.

    The sanctions include a ban on flights to and fro from the US, authorisation to the Treasury Department to freeze assets of Syrian nationals involved in "terrorism" and restrictions on banking relations between US banks and the Syrian national bank.

    The sanctions go beyond the minimum requirements of the Syrian Accountability Act which Bush signed into law in December.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    More than 300 people died in Somalia but some are asking why there was less news coverage and sympathy on social media.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Japan's third-largest steelmaker has admitted it faked data on parts used in cars, planes and trains.