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Syria's Bad Neighbor Policy

Syria continues to make trouble for its neighbors. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says that the United States is concerned:

“The Syrians have caused destabilization in Lebanon through their presence there for thirty years, and they finally now are out. But the question is, are they fully living up to their obligations under Resolution 1559, which we co-sponsored with the French, to not destabilize Lebanon, to not sanction assassinations in that region.”

U.N. Security Council Resolution fifteen-fifty-nine calls for full Syrian withdrawal from Lebanese affairs. Syrian troops were withdrawn from Lebanon in April, but Syria continues to meddle in Lebanese foreign policy and to try to influence Lebanon’s intelligence networks. Syria also continues to support Palestinian terrorist groups and the Lebanon-based terrorist group Hezbollah. Attacks against Israel by these groups are intended to derail a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

No less disturbing is the fact that since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003, Syria has served as a departure point for terrorists entering Iraq. Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari says that Syria is unwilling to stop terrorists crossing its border because it is afraid Iraqi efforts to build a democratic nation in the center of the Arab Middle East will succeed.

President George W. Bush says the United States “is determined to deny radical groups the support and sanctuary of outlaw regimes”:

"State sponsors like Syria and Iran have a long history of collaboration with terrorists, and they deserve no patience from the victims of terror.”

State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli says, “Every leading member of this administration has made it clear what’s expected of Syria, and that is to comply with [U.N. Resolution] fifteen-fifty-nine, stop supporting the insurgency in Iraq, and stop supporting Palestinian terrorists.”

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.