Israel

Hardliner in Israel Reappointed as Foreign Minister

Had been cleared of all charges in corruption case

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Hard-line Israeli politician Avigdor Lieberman, one of Israel's most powerful and polarizing figures, was reappointed as the country's foreign minister Monday after being cleared of all charges in a long-running corruption case.

He re-emerges as a player at a critical time in U.S.-backed peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Known for his outspoken and critical views of the Palestinians, he is likely to further complicate an already troubled negotiating climate with the Palestinians.

Lieberman, an ally and sometime rival of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, stepped down as foreign minister late last year when he was indicted on graft charges.

Since winning re-election in January, Netanyahu had left the post vacant for Lieberman while awaiting the verdict, which was returned Wednesday in his favor.