Message -- Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to the Actions of the Government of Syria
TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:
Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1622(d), provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency, unless, within 90 days prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. In accordance with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency with respect to the actions of the Government of Syria declared in Executive Order 13338 of May 11, 2004, as 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, is to continue in effect beyond May 11, 2012.
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. For these reasons, I have determined that it is necessary to continue in effect the national emergency declared with respect to this threat and to maintain in force the sanctions to address this national emergency.
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.