U.S. extends sanctions on Syria for additional year (2)

14:14, May 04, 2010      

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In recent weeks, the Obama administration has warned the Syrian government of providing Scud missiles to the Lebanese Hezbollah guerrilla, which was labeled by Washington as a terrorist group, threatening "all options are going to be on the table" to address Damascus's actions.

The Syrian government has been also accused by Washington of pursuing weapons of mass destruction and missile programs, and of supporting Palestinian "terrorist groups," including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and foreign militants carrying out terror attacks inside Iraq.

The Bush administration froze diplomatic relations with Syria by recalling its ambassador following the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Washington blamed it on Syria while Damascus denied the accusation.

The Obama administration, since it took office in January, 2009, has been encouraging Syria to play a positive role in the Middle East affairs ranging from Iran's nuclear stalemate, Lebanon's stability, Iraq's security to the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

The administration has decided to send an ambassador to Damascus in order to "sharpen the choice for Syria."

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