U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement today on additional European Union (EU) sanctions to be imposed on Syria's Assad regime in response to the regime's ongoing bloody crackdown on opposition forces:
"The European Union's decision to impose additional sanctions on the Assad regime is a welcome and important step.
"For more than a year, the regime in Damascus has been waging war against the Syrian people, as they seek to exercise their fundamental freedoms.
"Simply put, the regime must be isolated and its resources cut off, and the EU's latest sanctions measures are a demonstration that responsible nations are serious about stopping Assad's rampage.
"The United States needs to follow suit in ratcheting up our sanctions against this bloodthirsty dictator and his thugs whose pursuit of unconventional weapons and state-sponsorship of global terrorism also pose a serious threat to our national security, interests, and allies."
NOTE: Ros-Lehtinen is the author, with Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) of H.R. 2106, the bipartisan Syria Freedom Support Act. This bill strengthens sanctions against the Syrian regime, enhances multilateral commitment to address the Syrian regime's threatening policies, and establishes a program to support a transition to a democratically-elected government in Syria. H.R. 2106 states that it is the objective of U.S. policy to deny the Syrian regime the ability to carry out and, ultimately to abandon its support for Foreign Terrorist Organizations, its development of dangerous weapons programs, its intervention in the affairs of the Lebanese government, and the oppression of its own people. H.R. 2106 also strengthens existing U.S. laws targeting the Syrian regime's weapons programs, and imposes extensive sanctions on Syria's energy sector.