EU urges Lebanese leaders to join to restore security

The EU's top diplomat on Friday deplored a deadly car bomb explosion in central Beirut and urged Lebanon's leaders to join together to restore security in the country.

"The spiral of violence in Lebanon is deeply worrying," said EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, deploring the blast that notably took the life of Mohamad Chatah, former Lebanese finance minister and a key member of a coalition that opposes Syria's President Bashar al-Assad.

"I urge Lebanon's political leaders and the Lebanese people to put aside all differences and join forces - as a priority and without delay - to restore security in the country."

She also reiterated a call for the formation of a new government "capable of addressing the many challenges Lebanon is facing".

"The EU stands by the people of Lebanon and reaffirms its commitment to the unity, stability, independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon," Ashton added in a statement.