[link to hosted.ap.org]
By LARA JAKES
Jul 11, 4:01 PM EDT
BAGHDAD (AP) -- One of Iraq's three vice presidents resigned Monday in an apparent attempt to distance himself from what is seen as an increasingly dysfunctional government.
Shiite Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi, a member of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, could not be reached for comment. No formal reason was given for his resignation, after four years in office.
Abdul-Mahdi had threatened for months to leave his post. President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, finally accepted his resignation Monday.
"We deeply regret having to accept the resignation of our friend and brother," Talabani said in the statement, adding that he attempted for "many weeks" to persuade Abdul-Mahdi to stay.
"He was with us during the struggle against the dictatorship and we worked together to achieve a free, democratic and federal Iraq," Talabani said.