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09:06, 20 August 2017 Sunday
Update: 11:46, 12 November 2013 Tuesday

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Israel's Lieberman back in government- UPDATED
Israel's Lieberman back in government- UPDATED

Lieberman had to resign from his post as the foreign minister under the former government following a lawsuit that charged him with "malpractice and fraud".

World Bulletin/News Desk

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed Avigdor Lieberman as his foreign minister again after the latter was acquitted of corruption charges.

Lieberman had to resign from his post as the foreign minister under the former government following a lawsuit that charged him with "malpractice and fraud".

Netanyahu has kept the office of the foreign minister open.

Lieberman was cleared from charges last Thursday unanimously by a panel of three judges.

As head of the far-right Yisrael Beitenu party, which is allied with Netanyahu's Likud, Lieberman has been outspoken in his scepticism about the U.S.-sponsored negotiations with Palestinians that resumed in July after a three-year impasse. He says that reaching a permanent peace deal is impossible.

Netanyahu last week painted a grim picture of the talks, saying they had failed to make progress. Visiting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Israel it could face a third Palestinian uprising if they failed.

Lieberman, who was sworn in by parliament, has stirred controversy by questioning the loyalty of Israel's Arab citizens and proposing some Arab communities in Israel be shifted to Palestinian control in a land-for-peace deal.

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

Speaking to Anadolu Agency on Monday, Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Yigal Palmor affirmed that Lieberman was sworn in before the Israeli parliament (Knesset) and will take the office on Tuesday.

Main opposition Labor Party leader Shelly Yacimovich criticised Netanyahu over giving Lieberman back his job.

"This foreign minister has damaged Israel," Yacimovich said.

Lieberman's name circulated in many probes on malpractice, bribery and money laundering spreading to 9 countries in 2001 but in 2012 Israel's attorney-general opted not to indict him on those charges.



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