8 Mar 2009

Palestinian prime minister steps down

4:22 pm on 8 March 2009

The Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad has submitted his resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas.

The move comes ahead of power-sharing talks between Mr Abbas and his rival, Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

Mr Fayyad's resignation would pave the way for the formation of a national unity government, but he will not step down until that happens.

The move is being seen as conciliatory, as Hamas had demanded his departure.