Lieberman sworn in as Israel′s foreign minister | News | DW | 11.11.2013
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Lieberman sworn in as Israel's foreign minister

Israeli ultra-nationalist politician Avigdor Lieberman has been sworn in as his country's foreign minister. His reappointment comes just days after he was acquitted on corruption charges.

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Lieberman returns as foreign minister

Lieberman took his oath of office in front of the Israeli parliament on Monday, returning as foreign minister after he quit to fight corruption charges.

The 120-member house confirmed his reappointment by a vote of 62 to 17. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet had already approved his reinstatement on Sunday.

The 55-year-old Lieberman had been forced to resign as foreign minister in December 2012 after he was charged with fraud and breach of trust stemming from allegations he had given an Israeli diplomat an ambassador's post in exchange for a tip-off about a police inquiry into his affairs.

He was, however, allowed to retain his seat in parliament.

Lieberman led his nationalist Yisrael Beitenu into a merger with Netanyahu's Likud Party before January elections.

Peace talks could be affected

Lieberman's return to the Cabinet may have an impact on current US-brokered peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, as he is known for his hard-line views.

US Secretary of State John Kerry is working to salvage the strained talks. Kerry persuaded the two sides to reopen talks in late July after a nearly three-year break, with the goal of reaching a peace deal within nine months.

However, Netanyahu recently painted a grim outlook of the talks, accusing the Palestinians of creating "artificial crises,” and trying to "run away from the historic decisions that are needed to make a genuine peace."

Lieberman has called for the removal of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, describing him as an obstacle to peace.

hc/ph (Reuters, AFP)

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