The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
Notice -- Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to the Actions of the Government of Syria
- - - - - - -
CONTINUATION OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT TO
THE ACTIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF SYRIA
On May 11, 2004, pursuant to his authority under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. 1701-1706, and the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003, Public Law 108-175, the President issued Executive Order 13338, in which he declared a national emergency with respect to the actions of the Government of Syria. To deal with this national emergency, Executive Order 13338 authorized the blocking of property of certain persons and prohibited the exportation or reexportation of certain goods to Syria. The national emergency was modified in scope and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13399 of April 25, 2006, Executive Order 13460 of February 13, 2008, Executive Order 13572 of April 29, 2011, Executive Order 13573 of May 18, 2011, Executive Order 13582 of August 17, 2011, Executive Order 13606 of April 22, 2012, and Executive Order 13608 of May 1, 2012.
The President took these actions to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States constituted by the actions of the Government of Syria in supporting terrorism, maintaining its then-existing occupation of Lebanon, pursuing weapons of mass destruction and missile programs, and undermining U.S. and international efforts with respect to the stabilization and reconstruction of Iraq.
While the Syrian regime has reduced the number of foreign fighters bound for Iraq, the regime's own brutality and repression of its citizens who have been calling for freedom and a representative government endangers not only the Syrian people themselves, but could yield greater instability throughout the region. The Syrian regime's actions and policies, including obstructing the Lebanese government's ability to function effectively, pursuing chemical and biological weapons, and supporting terrorist organizations, continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. As a result, the national emergency declared on May 11, 2004, and the measures adopted on that date in Executive Order 13338; on April 25, 2006, in Executive Order 13399; on February 13, 2008, in Executive Order 13460; on April 29, 2011, in Executive Order 13572; on May 18, 2011, in Executive Order 13573; on August 17, 2011, in Executive Order 13582; on April 22, 2012, in
Executive Order 13606; and on May 1, 2012, in Executive Order 13608, to deal with that emergency must continue in effect beyond May 11, 2012. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1622(d), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared with respect to the actions of the Government of Syria.
In addition, the United States condemns the Asad regime's use of brutal violence and human rights abuses and calls on the Asad regime to step aside and immediately begin a transition in Syria to a political process that will forge a credible path to a future of greater freedom, democracy, opportunity, and justice. The United States will consider changes in the composition, policies, and actions of the Government of Syria in determining whether to continue or terminate this national emergency in the future. This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.