Australia's Gillard names Bob Carr as foreign minister

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, right, names Bob Carr, left, as the new foreign minister to replace Kevin Rudd at a press conference at Parliament House on 2 March, 2012 in Canberra, Australia
Image caption Bob Carr, left, named foreign minister by PM Julia Gillard, says he could not say no to her

Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard has named former New South Wales premier Bob Carr to replace Kevin Rudd as foreign minister.

Ms Gillard defeated Mr Rudd, who resigned as foreign minister last week, in a party leadership vote on Monday.

There was intense speculation over the new cabinet line-up following the vote.

Mr Carr served as NSW premier for 10 years from 1995 and was seen as a driving force behind the successful 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

Ms Gillard had kept Australian media and political watchers guessing before her announcement midday on Friday in Canberra.

She said she was delighted that he had accepted the job. Australian media had reported that the offer was made earlier this week but then withdrawn following resistance from other Labor ministers.

Mr Carr said he could not say no to Ms Gillard when she made him the offer ''late Thursday morning''.

''You don't choose the moment,'' he said at a press conference. ''Very often, the moment chooses you.''

He paid tribute to Kevin Rudd's achievements as foreign minister and said he would seek his advice on matters such as Australia's relations with Burma.

He also promised to take the lead on Australia's bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council.

Defence Minister Stephen Smith, a former foreign minister who was tipped as the front-runner for the job, will remain in place.

He had ''major decisions'' to make, said Ms Gillard, and her focus was on putting forward ''the strongest possible team''.

Emergency Management Minister Robert McClelland, a former attorney-general and a strong supporter of Mr Rudd, was removed from her new line-up.

''I think Robert McClelland is a great Labor man from a great Labor family and he will continue to serve the Labor Party,'' she told reporters.

Others who supported Mr Rudd - who is now sitting on the backbench - such as Resources Minister Martin Ferguson, Transport Minister Anthony Albanese and Immigration Minister Chris Bowen - kept their jobs.

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