Despite US and European pressure, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has accepted the resignation of his Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. The president has asked Fayyad to continue in the post until a new government is formed.
Sources reported that Fayyad expressed his deep thanks to President Abbas for his support to the government over the years. However, local sources claim that the prime minister would not stay in the role "even if the whole universe" asks him to stay.
There have been a number of confusing reports in the media ever since Reuters first reported that Fayyad had offered his resignation last Wednesday.
Senior American and European officials have been putting a lot of pressure on Abbas to reject Fayyad's resignation. He has been hailed by the international Middle East Quartet for his cooperation with the West and Israel. US President Barack Obama described the outgoing prime minister as a "peace partner" during his visit to the region last month, and Secretary of State John Kerry held several meetings with him in a show of solidarity and support.