WASHINGTON (CN) - Citing the Syrian government's ongoing sponsorship of terrorism, pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and recent violent crackdown on democracy demonstrators, President Barack Obama extended, for a year, a state of emergency freezing the assets of senior members of the government.
Obama's order also extends the ban on the export of munitions, and the revocation of the landing rights of the Syrian national airline mandated under Executive Order 13338 signed by former President George W. Bush in response to Syria's intervention in Lebanon.
To extend the sanctions, Obama called upon the Syrian government to "respect human rights and to forge a credible path to a future of greater freedom, democracy, opportunity, and justice." Obama offered a carrot to lure Syrian President Bashar al-Assad along that path saying "The United States will consider changes in the policies and actions of the Government of Syria in determining whether to continue or terminate this national emergency in the future and would welcome progress by the Government of Syria on these matters."
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