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Public Law (12/12/2003)

(This measure has not been amended since it was passed by the Senate on November 11, 2003. The summary of that version is repeated here.)

Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003 - (Sec. 3) Declares the sense of Congress that 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.

Declares the sense of Congress that the Government of Syria should: (1) immediately and unconditionally stop facilitating transit from Syria to Iraq of individuals, military equipment, and all lethal items, except as authorized by the Coalition Provisional Authority or a representative, internationally recognized Iraqi government; (2) cease its support for "volunteers" and terrorists who are traveling from and through Syria into Iraq to launch attacks; (3) undertake concrete, verifiable steps to deter such behavior and control the use of territory under Syrian control; and (4) immediately declare its commitment to completely withdraw its armed forces, including military, paramilitary, and security forces, from Lebanon, and set a firm timetable for such withdrawal.

Declares the sense of Congress that the Government of Lebanon should deploy the Lebanese armed forces to all areas of Lebanon, including South Lebanon, in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 520 (September 17, 1982) (Security Council Resolution 520), in order to assert the sovereignty of the Lebanese state over all of its territory, and should evict all terrorist and foreign forces from southern Lebanon, including Hizballah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

Declares the sense of Congress that: (1) the Government of Syria should halt the development and deployment of medium- and long-range surface-to-surface missiles and cease the development and production of biological and chemical weapons; and (2) 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.

Declares the sense of Congress that 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 Security Council Resolution 520.

Declares the sense of Congress that, as a violator of several key United Nations Security Council resolutions and as a nation that pursues policies which undermine international peace and security, Syria should not have been permitted to join the United Nations Security Council or serve as the Security Council's President, and should be removed from the Security Council.

(Sec. 4) Declares as U.S. policy that: (1) Syria should bear responsibility for 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 it ends 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 U.S. 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 U.S. national security interest; (5) Syria is in violation of Security Council Resolution 520 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 U.S. national security interests; (8) Syria will be held accountable for any harm to Coalition armed forces or to any U.S. citizen in Iraq if the Government of Syria is found to be responsible owing to its facilitation of terrorist activities and its shipments of military supplies to Iraq; and (9) the United States will not provide any assistance to Syria and will oppose multilateral assistance for Syria until Syria ends all support for terrorism, withdraws its armed forces from Lebanon, and halts the development and deployment of weapons of mass destruction and medium- and long-range surface-to-surface ballistic missiles.

(Sec. 5) Sets forth the following penalties against Syria until the President determines and certifies to Congress that Syria meets the requirements of this Act.

Directs the President to prohibit the export to Syria of any item, including the issuance of an export license, on the United States Munitions List or Commerce Control List of dual-use items in the Export Administration Regulations.

Requires the President, at the same time, to impose two or more of the following sanctions: (1) prohibit the export to Syria of U.S. products (other than food and medicine); (2) prohibit U.S. businesses from investing or operating in Syria; (3) restrict Syrian diplomats in Washington, D.C., and at the United Nations in New York City, to travel only within a 25-mile radius of Washington, D.C., or the United Nations headquarters building, respectively; (4) prohibit aircraft of any air carrier owned or controlled by Syria to take off from, land in, or overfly the United States; (5) reduce U.S. diplomatic contacts with Syria (other than those required to protect U.S. interests or carry out the purposes of this Act); and (6) 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 U.S. jurisdiction.

Authorizes the President to waive such sanctions for one or more six-month periods if the President determines that it is in the national security interest of the United States to do so and reports his reasons to Congress.

Authorizes the President to provide development assistance to Syria and Lebanon under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 if he certifies to Congress that the Government of Syria: (1) has ceased providing support for international terrorist groups and does not allow terrorist groups, such as Hamas, Hizballah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, to maintain facilities in territory under Syrian control; (2) has ended its occupation of Lebanon as described in this Act ; (3) has ceased the development and deployment of medium- and long-range surface-to-surface ballistic missiles, is not pursuing or engaged in the research, development, acquisition, production, transfer, or deployment of biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons, has provided credible assurances that such behavior will not be undertaken in the future, and has agreed to allow United Nations and other international observers to verify such actions and assurances; (4) has ceased all support for, and facilitation of, all terrorist activities inside of Iraq, including preventing the use of territory under its control by any means whatsoever to support those engaged in terrorist activities inside of Iraq; and (5) 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 Security Council Resolution 520.

Requires the President also, as a condition for renewed development assistance to Syria, to determine that substantial progress has been made both in negotiations aimed at achieving a peace agreement between Israel and Syria and in negotiations aimed at achieving a peace agreement between Israel and Lebanon.

(Sec. 6) Requires annual reports to the appropriate congressional committees on Syria's progress in complying with the requirements of this Act, beginning six months after enactment of this Act.