Letter to President Bush from Members of Congress: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen  and Eliot L. Engel addressing UN Resolution 1559

Congress of the United States
Washington DC 20515
October 8, 2004

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Bush,

We write to you in light of the report issued on October 1, 2004 by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan regarding Syria’s flagrant violations of U.N. Resolution 1559, and also in light of recent actions taken by the Syrian regime against democracy in Lebanon.

Pursuant to the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act and Section 3 of your Executive Order of May 11, 2004, you may freeze the assets of any individual who is found to be contributing to Syria's occupation of Lebanon or support of terrorism.

We write to you today to ask you to exercise this power. Specifically, we ask you to implement this provision against individuals in the Lebanese government, who have flagrantly and unabashedly cooperated with the Syrian regime in maintaining its control over Lebanon. Many of these individuals take advantage of our free economic system while openly subverting U.S. national interests and authority.

These are the same individuals who are turning once-democratic Lebanon into a police state and have provided official Lebanese governmental support and sanctuary to the Syrian-supported terrorist group Hezbollah. This is the same Lebanese government which indicted opposition leader and former Prime Minister of a sovereign Lebanon, Michel Aoun, simply because he testified against the Syrian occupation of Lebanon at a U.S. Congressional hearing, a charge which could bring 15 years of hard labor

Most recently, the Lebanese government, at Syria’s request and in defiance of U.N. Resolution 1559, “amended” Lebanon’s constitution to extend the term of Emile Lahoud as a tool for perpetuating the Syrian occupation of Lebanon.

Mr. President, the time has come to further deny the Syrian regime, a state-sponsor of terrorism, the assistance and support it receives from the Lebanese government. We ask that you take concrete action against this puppet government by using your authority to freeze whatever assets these individuals may have in the United States.

We believe this would be the single most effective step to dissuade these individuals from continuing to provide sanctuary to Syrian-supported terrorists and a quasi-legitimate cover for the illegal Syrian occupation of Lebanon.


Ileana Ros-Lehtinen anf  Eliot L. Engel
Member of Congress Member of Congress