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The United States has stationed its USS Cole warship off Lebanon's coast in a "show of support for regional stability," a top US official says.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the deployment of the guided-missile destroyer but declined to say that the show of force was meant for Syria or Iran.
Washington considers those nations as foes of Lebanese democracy.
It is "a show of support for regional stability" because of "concern about the situation in Lebanon," the official said.
Asked whether US President George W Bush had given the order, White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said: "The President is concerned about the situation in Lebanon and discusses the issue regularly with his national security team".
Lebanon's presidential vacuum has entered its fourth month with no resolution in sight, fuelling fears that a deepening sectarian rift could stoke civil strife.
Arab leaders have stepped up efforts to bridge the divide between the Western-backed ruling coalition and the opposition supported by Syria and Iran, but analysts said they do not hold out much hope of a deal ahead of an Arab summit next month.