PA president accepts Fayyad’s resignation

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad after an internal power struggle.

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Abbas accepted the resignation Saturday, during a meeting between the two Palestinian leaders at the PA headquarters in Ramallah. Fayyad reportedly had offered his resignation earlier in the week.

Abbas asked Fayyad to stay on and lead a caretaker government until a new government is formed, the WAFA-Palestine News Service reported.

Over the past few weeks, already tense relations between Fayyad and Abbas have reportedly deteriorated due to major disagreements over government policy in the Palestinian Authority and rumors that Abbas would fire Fayyad, who also serves as finance minister.

Following the resignation, the United States praised Fayyad and thanked him for his leadership.

“We recognize the important roles played by both president Abbas and prime minister Fayyad, and appreciate both of their efforts as we and others work to support establishment of a viable, independent Palestinian state,” said National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden. “Prime Minister Fayyad has been a strong partner to the international community and a leader in promoting economic growth, state-building and security for the Palestinian people. We look to all Palestinian leaders to support these efforts.”

Fayyad, who was educated in the United States, had the backing of President Obama and other Western leaders, who believed him to be essential to building an independent Palestinian state.

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