Summary: S.617 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.617. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (03/19/2013)

Syria Democratic Transition Act of 2013 - Authorizes the President to furnish assistance in order to: (1) provide support for humanitarian activities taking place in and outside Syria; (2) support efforts for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Syria and the establishment of an inclusive representative form of government; (3) encourage the Arab League and other international bodies to insist that transitional and future governments in Syria are committed to democratic principles, including respect for human rights and religious freedom; (4) contribute seed funding to establish a Syria Reconstruction Fund for the physical reconstruction and reestablishment of basic services in Syria after the fall of the Assad regime; and (5) support post-transition efforts.

Authorizes the President to provide assistance to: (1) the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) and the Assistance Coordination Unit to enhance their ability to provide basic services to the people of Syria and establish the beginnings of a functioning government; (2) provide training to members of the SOC and Free Syrian Army (FSA); (3) provide non-lethal equipment and training to vetted members of the FSA; and (4) allocate additional Department of State personnel to conduct vetting of opposition individuals receiving aid.

Directs the President to prohibit the opening, and prohibit or impose strict conditions on the maintaining, in the United States of any account by a foreign financial institution that the President determines has conducted significant arms sales to the government of Bashar al Assad through the Central Bank of Syria or other Syrian financial institution designated for the imposition of sanctions. Provides an exception with respect to humanitarian transactions. Allows the President, following congressional notification, to waive or terminate any such sanction that is in the national security interest.

Urges the President to: (1) instruct United Nations (U.N.) voluntary agencies to use the voice and vote of the United States to support additional humanitarian and development assistance to Syria, and (2) increase bilateral funding to countries which have experienced an influx of refugees from Syria.

Urges the Secretary of State to work with appropriate international and regional organizations to convene an international donors group to maximize contributed resources and provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Syria.

Urges the United States to develop a plan for securing conventional and unconventional weapons in Syria and preventing their illicit sale or transfer out of Syria.