Syria rebel PM Ghassan Hitto resigns 4 months after appointment

BEIRUT (AFP) - Syria's rebel prime minister Ghassan Hitto announced his resignation on Monday, nearly four months after his appointment and having failed to form a government.

"I announce I will not continue in my capacity as prime minister tasked with leading the interim government, though I emphasise I will continue working for the interests of the revolution and towards achieving its objectives," Mr Hitto said in an online statement.

His resignation comes two days after secular dissident Ahmad Assi Jarba was chosen to lead the main opposition National Coalition.

Mr Jarba is seen as close to Saudi Arabia, which opposed the selection of Mr Hitto to head the interim government in March.

Dissidents say Mr Hitto, who is close to the opposition's Islamist ranks and whose candidacy was backed by Qatar, was unable to work because of divisions within the Coalition.

Mr Hitto said he decided to resign in order "to help... the Coalition's new leadership to act according to its political vision", especially with regards to the interim government and its executive functions.