Lebanese president accepts premier's resignation, asks him to continue with caretaking role

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman has formally accepted the resignation of the prime minister, who stepped down blaming government infighting.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati submitted his written resignation to the president on Saturday after announcing his resignation the day before. Suleiman asked that his government assume a caretaking role until a new government is formed.

This opens the way for political jockeying as parliamentary blocs try to build a majority coalition to choose a new prime minister.

Mikati's resignation threatens to leave a void in the state's highest ranks at a time of rising tensions and sporadic violence enflamed by the civil war in neighboring Syria.

Mikati said Saturday that his decision to resign was "a personal one" and called for national dialogue.