Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad resigned today, leaving the Palestinians without one of their most moderate and well-respected voices just as the US 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. Abbas asked Fayyad to continue to serve in his post until Abbas forms a new government.
Abbas and Fayyad had been locked in an increasingly bitter dispute over the extent of the prime minister's authority. His departure could spell trouble for Abbas. Fayyad, a Western-trained economist, is well respected in international circles, and he is expected to play a key role in US efforts to revive peace talks. A squeaky-clean public image and willingness to take on entrenched interests has often landed him in trouble with Abbas' long-ruling Fatah movement. Click for more.