Australia's former PM Kevin Rudd brought back into government

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The Independent Online

Australia's former prime minister Kevin Rudd was re-appointed to government as Foreign Minister, two and a half months after being removed from office by his own party.

In June, Mr Rudd was forced to step down after losing a leadership challenge to Julia Gillard, who is now Australia's first female prime minister. Ms Gillard's decision to appoint Mr Rudd to the cabinet has been seen as an effort to end the divisions in the party which resulted from her leadership bid. Australia's Labor Party was narrowly returned to government last month after a closely fought general election. Mr Rudd is unlikely to be a controversial appointment as Foreign Minister: before his political career, he served as a diplomat, and is one of only a few senior Australian politicians who speak fluent Mandarin.

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