PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad resigns

April 14, 2013 at 10:19 AM

RAMALLAH, West Bank, April 14 (UPI) -- Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad resigned after the United States coaxed him for weeks to remain in his post, officials said.

Fayyad announced his intention to resign to President Mahmoud Abbas March 23 after clashes between the two over the resignation of Palestinian Finance Minister Nabil Qassis, The New York Times reported. Abbas rejected Qassis' resignation, though Fayyad accepted it.

U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry -- both supporters of Fayyad -- tried to convince the prime minister not to resign, the Times reported.

"Kerry asked him to stay," one Western diplomatic official said on condition of anonymity. "There's been a lot of messaging from the Western community about how much we value Fayyad's work."

Upon accepting the resignation Saturday, Abbas asked Fayyad to remain in his post until a new government is formed, Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Abbas praised Fayyad's achievements as prime minister and expressed high confidence in his leadership.

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