Press Statement
Gordon Duguid
Deputy Department Spokesman, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
April 19, 2010


The most senior Syrian diplomat present in Washington today, Deputy Chief of Mission Zouheir Jabbour, was summoned to the Department of State to review Syria’s provocative behavior concerning the potential transfer of arms to Hizballah. This was the fourth occasion on which these concerns have been raised to the Syrian Embassy in recent months, intended to further amplify our messages communicated to the Syrian government. Our dialogue with Syria on this issue has been frank and sustained. We expect the same in return.

The United States condemns in the strongest terms the transfer of any arms, and especially ballistic missile systems such as the SCUD, from Syria to Hizballah. The transfer of these arms can only have a destabilizing effect on the region, and would pose an immediate threat to both the security of Israel and the sovereignty of Lebanon. The risk of miscalculation that could result from this type of escalation should make Syria reverse the ill-conceived policy it has pursued in providing arms to Hizballah. Additionally, the heightened tension and increased potential for conflict this policy produces is an impediment to on-going efforts to achieve a comprehensive peace in the Middle East. All states have an obligation under UN Security Council Resolution 1701 to prevent the importation of any weapons into Lebanon except as authorized by the Lebanese Government.

We call for an immediate cessation of any arms transfers to Hizballah and other terrorist organizations in the region. Syria’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism is directly related to its support for terrorist groups, such as Hizballah.



PRN: 2010/480

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