Rice warns Syria to steer clear of Lebanon's internal politics

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice repeated US demands that Syria steer clear of Lebanon's internal politics during a rare meeting Saturday with her Syrian counterpart, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, on the sidelines of a conference on Iraq in Istanbul, Turkey. "I made quite clear that ... it was expected that Syria was going to adhere to its international obligations not to interfere, to allow Lebanon to have a constitutional process for the ... election of a president, and that it was also the expectation of everyone that there would be no intimidation," Rice told reporters after leaving the conference. In response, al-Moallem said Syria supported Lebanese attempts to elect a new president without foreign interference, according to the official news agency SANA.