Bill Text
108th Congress (2003-2004)
S.982.IS


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Bill Summary & Status



S.982 -- Syria Accountability Act of 2003 (Introduced in Senate - IS)

S 982 IS

108th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 982

To halt Syrian support for terrorism, end its occupation of Lebanon, stop its development of weapons of mass destruction, cease its illegal importation of Iraqi oil, and hold Syria accountable for its role in the Middle East, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

May 1, 2003

Mrs. BOXER (for herself and Mr. SANTORUM) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations


A BILL

To halt Syrian support for terrorism, end its occupation of Lebanon, stop its development of weapons of mass destruction, cease its illegal importation of Iraqi oil, and hold Syria accountable for its role in the Middle East, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Syria Accountability Act of 2003'.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress makes the following findings:

      (1) United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 (September 28, 2001) mandates that all states `refrain from providing any form of support, active or passive, to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts', take `the necessary steps to prevent the commission of terrorist acts', and `deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support, or commit terrorist acts'.

      (2) The Government of Syria is currently prohibited by United States law from receiving United States assistance because it is listed as a state sponsor of terrorism.

      (3) Although the Secretary of State lists Syria as a state sponsor of terrorism and reports that Syria provides `safe haven and support to several terrorist groups', fewer United States sanctions apply with respect to Syria than with respect to any other country that the Secretary lists as a state sponsor of terrorism.

      (4) Terrorist groups, including Hizballah, Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, maintain offices, training camps, and other facilities on Syrian territory and operate in areas of Lebanon occupied by the Syrian armed forces and receive supplies from Iran through Syria.

      (5) United Nations Security Council Resolution 520 (September 17, 1982) calls for `strict respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and political independence of Lebanon under the sole and exclusive authority of the Government of Lebanon through the Lebanese Army throughout Lebanon'.

      (6) More than 20,000 Syrian troops and security personnel occupy much of the sovereign territory of Lebanon, thereby exerting undue influence upon its government and undermining its political independence.

      (7) Since 1990 the Senate and House of Representatives have passed seven bills and resolutions calling for the withdrawal of Syrian armed forces from Lebanon.

      (8) Large and increasing numbers of the Lebanese people from across the political spectrum in Lebanon have mounted peaceful and democratic calls for the withdrawal of the Syrian Army from Lebanese soil.

      (9) Israel has withdrawn all of its armed forces from Lebanon in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 425 (March 19, 1978), as certified by the United Nations Secretary General.

      (10) Even in the face of this United Nations certification that acknowledged Israel's full compliance with Resolution 425, Syria permits attacks by Hizballah and other militant organizations on Israeli outposts at Shebaa Farms, under the false guise that it remains Lebanese land. Syria also permits attacks on civilian targets in Israel.

      (11) Syria will not allow Lebanon, a sovereign country, to fulfill its obligation in accordance with Security Council Resolution 425 to deploy its troops to southern Lebanon.

      (12) As a result, the Israeli-Lebanese border and much of southern Lebanon is under the control of Hizballah, which continues to attack Israeli positions and allows Iranian Revolutionary Guards and other militant groups to operate freely in the area, destabilizing the entire region.

      (13) The United States provides $40,000,000 in assistance to the Lebanese people through private nongovernmental organizations, $7,900,000 of which is provided to Lebanese-American educational institutions.

      (14) In the State of the Union address on January 29, 2002, President George W. Bush declared that the United States will `work closely with our coalition to deny terrorists and their state sponsors the materials, technology, and expertise to make and deliver weapons of mass destruction'.

      (15) The Government of Syria continues to develop and deploy short- and medium-range ballistic missiles.

      (16) The Government of Syria is pursuing the development and production of biological and chemical weapons.

      (17) United Nations Security Council Resolution 661 (August 6, 1990) and subsequent relevant resolutions restrict the sale of oil and other commodities by Iraq, except to the extent authorized by other relevant resolutions.

      (18) Syrian President Bashar Assad promised the Secretary of State in February 2001 to end violations of Security Council Resolution 661 but this pledge has not been fulfilled.

      (19) In direct violation of United Nations Sanctions, Syria has been importing 200,000 barrels of Iraqi oil on a daily basis since 2000, which has provided Iraq with up to $1,200,000,000 annually.

      (20) There are reports that Syria is pursuing the development of chemical weapons, such as VX and Sarin, and is harboring fugitive Iraqi officials.

      (21) On April 20, 2003, President Bush said there were positive signs that Syria will cooperate on the issue of harboring fugitive Iraqi officials.

SEC. 3. SENSE OF CONGRESS.

    It is the sense of Congress that--

      (1) the Government of Syria should immediately and unconditionally halt support for terrorism, permanently and openly declare its total renunciation of all forms of terrorism, and close all terrorist offices and facilities in Syria, including the offices of Hamas, Hizballah, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command;

      (2) in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 520 (September 17, 1982), which calls for the strict respect for Lebanon's sovereignty and territorial integrity, the Government of Syria should immediately declare its commitment to completely withdraw its armed forces, including military, paramilitary, and security forces, from Lebanon, and set a firm schedule for such withdrawal;

      (3) the Government of Syria should halt the development and deployment of short- and medium-range ballistic missiles and cease the development and production of biological and chemical weapons;

      (4) the Government of Syria should halt illegal imports and transshipments of Iraqi oil and come into full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 661 and subsequent relevant resolutions;

      (5) the Governments of Lebanon and Syria should enter into serious unconditional bilateral negotiations with the Government of Israel in order to realize a full and permanent peace; and

      (6) the United States should continue to provide humanitarian and educational assistance to the people of Lebanon only through appropriate private, nongovernmental organizations and appropriate international organizations, until such time as the Government of Lebanon asserts sovereignty and control over all of its territory and borders and achieves full political independence, as called for in United Nations Security Council Resolution 520.

SEC. 4. STATEMENT OF POLICY.

    It is the policy of the United States that--

      (1) Syria should bear responsibility for all attacks committed by Hizballah and other terrorist groups with offices or other facilities in Syria, or bases in areas of Lebanon occupied by Syria;

      (2) the United States will work to deny Syria the ability to support acts of international terrorism and efforts to develop or acquire weapons of mass destruction;

      (3) the Secretary of State will continue to list Syria as a state sponsor of terrorism until Syria ends its support for terrorism, including its support of Hizballah and other terrorist groups in Lebanon and its hosting of terrorist groups in Damascus, and comes into full compliance with United States law relating to terrorism and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 (September 28, 2001);

      (4) the full restoration of Lebanon's sovereignty, political independence, and territorial integrity is in the national security interest of the United States;

      (5) Syria is in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 520 (September 17, 1982) through its continued occupation of Lebanese territory and its encroachment upon its political independence;

      (6) Syria's obligation to withdraw from Lebanon is not conditioned upon progress in the Israeli-Syrian or Israeli-Lebanese peace process but derives from Syria's obligation under Security Council Resolution 520;

      (7) Syria's acquisition of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs threaten the security of the Middle East and the national interests of the United States;

      (8) Syria has violated United Nations Security Council Resolution 661 (August 6, 1990) and subsequent relevant resolutions by purchasing oil from Iraq; and

      (9) the United States will restrict assistance to Syria and will oppose multilateral assistance for Syria until Syria withdraws its armed forces from Lebanon, halts the development and deployment of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles, and complies with Security Council Resolution 661 and subsequent relevant resolutions.

SEC. 5. PENALTIES AND AUTHORIZATION.

    (a) SANCTIONS- Unless the President makes the certification described in subsection (d), the President shall take the following actions:

      (1) Prohibit the export to Syria, and prohibit the issuance of a license for the export to Syria, of--

        (A) any defense articles or defense services for which special export controls are warranted under the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2751 et seq.), as identified on the United States Munitions List maintained under section 121.1 of title 22, Code of Federal Regulations; and

        (B) any item identified on the Commerce Control List maintained under part 774 of title 15, Code of Federal Regulations.

      (2) Impose two or more of the following sanctions:

        (A) Prohibit the export of products of the United States (other than food and medicine) to Syria.

        (B) Prohibit United States businesses from investing or operating in Syria.

        (C) Restrict travel of Syrian diplomats assigned to Washington, District of Columbia or the United Nations in New York, New York, to a 25-mile radius of Washington or the United Nations headquarters building, respectively.

        (D) Reduce United States diplomatic contacts with Syria (other than those contacts required to protect United States interests or carry out the purposes of this Act).

        (E) Block transactions in any property in which the Government of Syria has any interest, by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

    (b) WAIVER- The President may waive the application of paragraph (2) of subsection (a) if--

      (1) the President determines that it is in the national security interest of the United States to do so; and

      (2) submits to the appropriate congressional committees a report that contains the reasons for such determination.

    (c) AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE TO SYRIA AND LEBANON- The President is authorized to provide assistance to Syria and Lebanon under chapter 1 of part I of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2151 et seq.) (relating to development assistance), if the President--

      (1) makes the certification described in subsection (d);

      (2) determines that substantial progress has been made in negotiations aimed at achieving--

        (A) a peace agreement between Israel and Syria; and

        (B) a peace agreement between Israel and Lebanon; and

      (3) determines that the Government of Syria is strictly respecting the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity, and political independence of Lebanon under the sole and exclusive authority of the Government of Lebanon through the Lebanese army throughout Lebanon, as required under paragraph (4) of United Nations Security Council Resolution 520 (1982).

    (d) CERTIFICATION- The President shall transmit to the appropriate congressional committees a certification of any determination made by the President that--

      (1) the Government of Syria does not--

        (A) provide support for international terrorist groups; and

        (B) allow terrorist groups, such as Hamas, Hizballah, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine--General Command to maintain facilities in Syria;

      (2) the Government of Syria has withdrawn all Syrian military, intelligence, and other security personnel from Lebanon;

      (3) the Government of Syria has ceased the development and deployment of ballistic missiles and has ceased the development and production of biological and chemical weapons; and

      (4) the Government of Syria is no longer in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 661 or a subsequent relevant United Nations resolution.

SEC. 6. REPORT.

    (a) REPORT- Not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 12 months thereafter until the President makes the certification described in section 5(d), the Secretary of State shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on--

      (1) the progress made by the Government of Syria toward meeting the conditions described in paragraphs (1) through (4) of section 5(d); and

      (2) any connection between individual terrorists and terrorist groups that maintain offices, training camps, or other facilities on Syrian territory, or operate in areas of Lebanon occupied by the Syrian armed forces, and the attacks against the United States that occurred on September 11, 2001, and other terrorist attacks on the United States or its citizens, installations, or allies.

    (b) FORM- The report submitted under subsection (a) shall be in unclassified form but may include a classified annex.

SEC. 7. DEFINITION OF APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES.

    In this Act, the term `appropriate congressional committees' means the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives.



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