New York, NY, November 11, 2003 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today lauded U.S. Senate passage of the Syria Accountability Act, which imposes sanctions on Syria for its continued sponsorship of terrorism and development of weapons of mass destruction. The bill passed in the Senate by a vote of 89-4. It passed in the House of Representatives on October 15 with similarly overwhelming support.
“After years of watching Syria allow terrorist elements to flourish under its control, the time has come to hold this nation and its leaders accountable by strengthening economic and other sanctions,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “It is clear that Syria’s actions belie any claims that they are working with the U.S. in the areas of non-proliferation and combating terrorism.
“We applaud the leadership and perseverance demonstrated by the bill’s Senate and House cosponsors – Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Rick Santorum (R-PA) and Reps. Elliot Engel (D-NY) and Illeana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL). Enactment of this law will provide the president with another tool with which to fulfill his pledge to deny terrorists and their state sponsors materials, technology, and expertise.”
While Syria continues to support terror and provide safe haven and logistical support to terrorist groups, it is currently subject to fewer sanctions than any designated state sponsor of terror. The Syrian Accountability Act requires the president to impose a series of sanctions if the president cannot certify that Syria has halted support for terrorism; ended the occupation of Lebanon; ceased development of weapons of mass destruction; and ended its illegal importation of Iraqi oil and illegal shipments of weapons and other military items to Iraq.