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Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli foreign minister, has said he was resigning after being charged with fraud and breach of trust, Reuters news agency has reported.

Lieberman made the announcement on Friday a day after being charged with fraud and breach of trust for promoting an ambassador.

“Though I know I committed no crime … I have decided to resign my post as foreign minister and deputy prime minister,” Lieberman said in an emailed statement, adding that he hoped to clear his name “without delay”.

However Lieberman, who leads the ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party, was cleared of more serious offences, including bribery and money-laundering.

Opinion polls had predicted that the right-wing party of Lieberman and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud, running on a joint-party ticket would win the January 22 election, and it was not clear if his removal from the race would hurt their chances.

 

MWC News

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