1st LD: UN Security Council urges early presidential elections in Lebanon

UNITED NATIONS, May 29 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council on Thursday urged the Lebanese Parliament to ensure that " presidential elections take place as soon as possible and without external interference" in the Middle East country.

A presidential statement, adopted by the 15-nation UN body, said, "The Security Council reiterates its full support for the government of Lebanon to discharge its duties during this interim period in accordance with the constitution, until the election of the new president."

On Sunday, UN Secretary-General said he regretted that the Lebanese Parliament was unable to elect a new president within the timeframe set by the constitution.

The term of the head of state, Michel Sleiman, ended on Sunday, and the Lebanese Constitution specifies that parliament members must convene to elect a new president before the deadline passes.