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Letter to Congressional Leaders on Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to the Actions of the Government of Syria

May 08, 2023

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Madam President:)

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, 2023.

The regime's brutality and repression of the Syrian people, who have called for freedom and a representative government, not only endangers the Syrian people themselves, but also generates instability throughout the region. The Syrian regime's actions and policies, including with respect to chemical 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 in Executive Order 13338 with respect to Syria.

In addition, the United States condemns the brutal violence and human rights violations and abuses of the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian enablers. The United States calls on the Assad regime, and its backers, to stop its violent war against its own people, enact a nationwide ceasefire, facilitate the unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance to all Syrians in need, and negotiate a political settlement in Syria in line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254. The United States will consider changes in policies and actions of the Government of Syria in determining whether to continue or terminate this national emergency in the future.


Signature of Joe Biden

NOTE: Identical letters were sent to Kevin O. McCarthy, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Kamala D. Harris, President of the Senate. The letter referred to President Bashir al-Asad of Syria. An original was not available for verification of the content of this letter.

Joseph R. Biden, Letter to Congressional Leaders on Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to the Actions of the Government of Syria Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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