The Straits Times
Published on Dec 16, 2012

Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman officially resigns


JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel's foreign minister has tendered his official resignation over fraud and breach of trust charges filed against him.

Mr Avigdor Lieberman's resignation goes into effect on Tuesday. He said on Sunday he hopes to take "the briefest possible leave". Mr Lieberman announced on Friday that he would resign to fight the charges, levelled a day earlier.

He remains on the slate of candidates running with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for election to parliament on Jan 22, but his legal woes could complicate his hopes to serve as a minister in the next government.

Mr Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu and Mr Netanyahu's Likud Party recently joined forces in the election, enabling the ultra-nationalist politician to position himself as Mr Netanyahu's heir.