President Bush moved to boost the Lebanese government today, barring officials who have acted to undermine the precarious regime from entering the US. The ban applies to some high-level Syrian officials and five former Lebanese cabinet ministers, Reuters reports. An NSC spokesman said the goal is "to demonstrate to Syria our desire for them to stop meddling in Lebanon."
The travel ban, the latest move in the ongoing jousting between Damascus and the White House, has been under consideration for some time; the recent assassination of a prominent anti-Syrian legislator prodded Bush to act. He signed the proclamation in Kennebunkport, where Russian PM Vladimir Putin is expected Sunday for a 2-day summit. (Read more Lebanon stories.)