RAMALLAH, West Bank
Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad resigned Saturday, leaving Palestinians without one of their most moderate and well-respected voices just as the U.S. is launching a new push for Mideast peace.
A statement from the official Palestinian news agency Wafa said President Mahmoud Abbas met with Fayyad late in the day and accepted his resignation, thanking him for his service. According to the statement, Abbas asked Fayyad to continue to serve in his post until Abbas forms a new government.
Abbas was expected to name a new prime minister within days, according to Palestinian officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Abbas and Fayyad had been locked in an increasingly bitter dispute over the extent of the prime minister’s authority. Fayyad offered his resignation on Thursday, but Abbas did not respond to Fayyad’s offer until Saturday.
His departure could spell trouble for Abbas. Fayyad, a Western-trained economist, is respected in international circles, and he is expected to play a key role in U.S. efforts to revive peace talks.