"Although U.S.-Syrian relations improved somewhat in the 1990s, further strains appeared after the breakdown in Syrian-Israeli negotiations in 2000 and Syria's opposition to a U.S. military campaign in Iraq. Members of Congress have periodically introduced legislation to tighten U.S. sanctions against Syria or to condition relaxation of existing restrictions on further changes in Syrian policy. Recent U.S. Administrations, though not inclined to lift sanctions on Syria at this time, tend to believe it is in U.S. interests to encourage Syria to play a positive role in the Arab-Israeli peace process and support other U.S. initiatives. The issue for U.S. policy makers is the degree to which the United States should work for better relations with Syria in an effort to enlist Syrian cooperation on regional issues."
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB92075
U.S. Department of State, Foreign Press Centers: http://www.fpc.state.gov/