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Bob Carr replaces Kevin Rudd as Australia's new foreign minister

Canberra, Fri, 02 Mar 2012 ANI

Canberra (Australia), Mar. 2 (ANI): Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has appointed Bob Carr as the country's foreign minister in her latest cabinet reshuffle.


He replaces Kevin Rudd, who was the country's prime minister before Gillard and her foreign minister till earlier this month.


"As leader, I have made a decision and that's why Bob Carr is here today," the Daily Telegraph quoted Gillard, as saying.


"My decision to have Bob Carr to serve as Foreign Minister ... are all part of the decisions I have made to present the strongest team .... To make sure we deliver on the government's promises," she added.


The appointment was supported by Rudd, who said Carr was an "excellent choice" for his old job.


"I have known Bob for 20 years and regard him as a good friend. He has demonstrated a strong continuing interest in international affairs. He has also been actively engaged with the US across that period and will be well regarded in Washington," Rudd said in a statement.


The move to appoint Carr has been pulled off due to the unique situation in the Australian Senate when a vacancy arose due to a resignation of a member.


Carr will now be Labor's nominee for the seat and once sworn into the upper house will be a member of parliament and then be able to be sworn in as Foreign Minister.


Gillard now has a 22-member cabinet, but has sacked Emergency Management Minister and Kevin Rudd-backer Robert McClelland.


McClelland said he had a "very brief" discussion with the Prime Minister who said she felt he had "gone further" than most in his public support of Kevin Rudd.


He said his interventions were motivated with his disappointment in the tones of the personal attacks made on Kevin Rudd.


"They demeaned his impeccable qualities as a Labor person," he said.


Trade Minister Craig Emerson will take on the role of Competitiveness to pay attention to increasing Australia's economic clout globally, with a focus on the Asian century white paper.


Brendan O'Connor has been elevated to cabinet to take the position of Small Business, Housing and Homelessness Minister.


Attorney-General Nicole Roxon will take on McClelland's role of Emergency Management Minister.


In the outer ministry, Kate Lundy will take over Mr Arbib's sports portfolio as well as being Minister for Multicultural Affairs.


Western Sydney-based Lindsay MP David Bradbury is promoted to Assistant Treasurer and Minister Assisting for Deregulation.


Gillard has spared Rudd-backer Kim Carr from a another dumping after his removal from cabinet last year, but he will continue as a minister in the human services portfolio.


Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare will take on the additional duties of Defence Minister. (ANI)


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