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Kevin Rudd resigns as Australia's Foreign Minister


February 22, 2012 - Melbourne

Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has stepped down after "attacks on his credibility".

Rudd said he would return to Brisbane to make a full statement before the beginning of the parliament session.

"While I am sad to leave this office, I am sadder still that it has come to this. The simple truth is I cannot continue to serve as foreign minister if I do not have Prime Minister Gillard's support. I, therefore, believe the only honourable thing, and the only honourable course of action, is for me to resign," news.com.au quoted Rudd, as saying.

The move comes in the wake of speculation that he was challenging Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's authority.

Rudd said it was now up to the caucus to decide on the leadership.

"There is one overriding question for my caucus colleagues, and that is, who is best placed to defeat Tony Abbott at the next election," Rudd said.

"Mr Abbott, I believe, does not have the temperament or the experience to ever be elected to hold the high office of prime minister of Australia. But at present, and for a long time now, he has been on track just to do that," he added.

He claimed that the ongoing leadership speculation about the Labor Party was adversely affecting its prospects for the upcoming Queensland election.

ANI

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