Israeli foreign minister resigns

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has resigned after being charged with breach of trust following a long-running investigation. Mr Lieberman has also resigned as deputy prime minister, and said he would fight to clear his name of the charges.

The case against him relates to a financial scandal dating back more than a decade.

His resignation comes five weeks before Israel’s general election.

“Though I know I committed no crime… I have decided to resign my post as foreign minister and deputy prime minister,” Mr Lieberman said in a statement released by his office.

He also said he would waive his parliamentary immunity in order to settle the charges quickly, according to Reuters.

Mr Lieberman is the leader of Yisrael Beitenu, the second largest party in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud-led coalition government.

The two parties were due to run together in January’s general election, with polls suggesting they were on course to win.

It is unclear whether Mr Avigdor will still run as a candidate in the election, or whether he will stand down as party leader.

Police had been investigating allegations of money laundering and bribery against Mr Lieberman, but prosecutors instead charged him with the lesser offence of breach of trust.

That relates to him receiving confidential documents concerning the investigation against him from the former Israeli ambassador to Belarus.

Source: BBC

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