By Omar Halabi BEIRUT, March 9 (KUNA) — Lebanese President Emile Lahoud considers planned resumption of the National Dialogue Conference on Monday as of paramount necessity and cautions that its deadlock may negatively affect general conditions in the country, sources close to the president said on Thursday.

The sources told KUNA that the president "believes that its is quite normal for the conference to last a long time for further consultations for reaching a speedy settlement may not constitute a viable understanding." Top leaders of the country’s diverse political trends plan to resume talks at the Parliament Building in downtown Beirut on Monday, following a series of sessions to discuss prospect of reaching consensus on some of the top controversial issues, such as the arms of the Lebanese resistance and the Palestinian fighters as well as status of the frontier Shebaa farms.
The president hopes that the conferees will reach a consensus on destiny of the Palestinian arms, national role of the resistance and the Lebanese identity of the farms "because such an aspired agreement will be tantamount to a new road map for future Lebanon." As to the status of the presidency, the sources quoted the president as saying that the debates among the diverse groups showed lack of a consensus on this issue, indicating at bids by "some forces that have been trying to elect a new president who is not as much adamant on national principles" as himself.

Lahoud was alluding to calls by his opponents to step down ahead of expiry of his term in 2007.

Lahoud played down significance of the consensus on the necessity of revealing culprits of the 2005 assassination of the former premier, Rafic Al-Hariri. (end) oh.