Hard-liner Lieberman sworn in as Israeli FM after fraud charges cleared
Staunchly right-wing Avigdor Lieberman has been sworn back in to the Israeli government in his role as foreign minster after being cleared of fraud and breach of trust charges last week in a Jerusalem court. (AFP)
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Conservative Israeli politician Avigdor Lieberman has returned to the post of foreign minister after being cleared of corruption charges last week.
Lieberman was sworn in to the post after the Israeli parliament endorsed his return to government by 62 votes to 17, BBC News reported.
His party "Yisrael Beytenu" is part of the governing coalition led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Staunchly right-wing, Lieberman is a vocal critic of the US-backed peace talks with the Palestinians that resumed in July after a three-year-long hiatus.
The foreign minister stepped down from office last December after he was charged with fraud and breach of trust.
The accusations related to his alleged involvement in the promotion of Israel's former ambassador to Belarus, BBC reported. Lieberman was aquitted of all charges by a Jerusalem court last week.
Lieberman is a key ally of Netanyahu, and his "Yisrael Beytenu" party ran on a list that narrowly won with Likud in January's general elections.
Netanyahu served as interim foreign minister after Lieberman resigned, keeping the post open for his possible return.
The prime minister said Monday that he was eagerly anticipating Lieberman's return to the Israeli government, according to the BBC.
"We have a lot to work on; great tests and great challenges," he said. "Welcome back."