Press Release of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer

For Immediate Release:
November 11, 2003  
Contact:
Washington D.C. Office (202) 224-3553

Senate Passes Syria Accountability Act  

 Washington, D.C.- The United States Senate today passed legislation by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Rick Santorum (R-PA) that seeks to end Syrian support for terrorism.

The Syria Accountability Act, which passed by a vote of 89-4, expands economic and diplomatic sanctions against Syria until the President certifies the nation has ended its support of terrorism. The sanctions would also continue until Syria withdraws military forces from Lebanon, and ceases its weapons of mass destruction program.

The bill provides flexibility to the President by allowing him to choose from a variety of sanctions, as well as the authority to waive sanctions if it is in the interest of United States national security.

Boxer said, "This bill in no way threatens or condones the use of military force against Syria. In fact, I believe it will help prevent war by making clear what Syria must do to become a respected member of the world community."

Boxer added, "If we are serious about peace in the Middle East, then we cannot turn a blind eye to Syria's tolerance of terrorism. It is a well-documented fact that many of the most violent terrorist organizations have headquarters or offices in Syria."

Those terrorist organizations include Hizballah, Hamas, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which maintains offices, training camps, and other facilities on Syrian territory and in areas of Lebanon occupied by the Syrian armed forces.

Boxer first introduced the Syria Accountability Act in April 2002, and then again in May 2003.