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Australian foreign minister Kevin Rudd resigns amid leadership crisis

Posted on February 22, 2012, Wednesday

CANBERRA: Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd resigned on Wedensday amid widespread reports of a leadership tussle between him and Prime Minister Julia Gillard, reported China’s Xinhua news agency.

There has been ongoing tension in the Labour Party in recent weeks over the leadership. Gillard ousted Rudd as prime minister in June 2010.

In announcing his resignation, Rudd said that such decision made as he no longer felt he has the Labour leader’s support.

“The truth is I can only serve as foreign minister if I have the confidence of Prime Minister Gillard and her senior ministers,” he made the announcement in Washington Wednesday.

“I therefore believe the only honourable course of action is for me to resign.”

Furthermore, he said that he will return to Australia on Friday and will make a full statement on his future.

“In recent days (Simon) Crean and a number of other faceless men have publicly attacked my integrity and therefore my fitness to serve as a minister in the government. When challenged today on these attacks, Prime Minister Gillard chose not to repudiate them. I can only reluctantly conclude that she therefore shares these views,” said Rudd. – Bernama

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