Muscat: Algeria's 82 year old president Abdelaziz Bouteflika has officially resigned, the state-run Algerie Presse Service has said.
In a letter written to the President of the Constitutional Council, Bouteflika said, "I have the honour to formally notify you of my decision to terminate my term as President of the Republic, as from today, Tuesday, Radjab 1440, corresponding to 02 April 2019.
"This decision that I take in my good conscience is intended to contribute to easing the hearts and minds of my compatriots and to enable them to plan together for a better future for Algeria, which they legitimately aspire to."
Bouteflika, who has been in charge of the country since 1999, resigned after weeks of public protests calling for his resignation
"This decision is triggered by my eagerness to prevent that the verbal excesses that unintentionally mark the situation turn into potentially dangerous drifts, and for the protection of persons and property which is the main prerogatives of the State," he said. "In the same time, this decision is an expression of my faith in a proud and dignified Algeria which fully assumes its responsibilities in the community of nations.
He added: "In this perspective, I have taken the appropriate measures, as part of my constitutional prerogatives, to ensure that the State and its institutions will continue to normally function during the transition period, leading to the election of the new President of the Republic."
"May God Almighty be a witness of the initiatives and the actions I have taken, and the efforts and the sacrifices I have made to live up to the trust which my fellow countrymen have placed in me, working tirelessly to consolidate the foundations of national unity, independence and development of our beloved country and to promote reconciliation with ourselves and with our identity and our history," said Bouteflika. "I wish all the best to the Algerian people."