Australia's former FM Bob Carr calls it quits

Australia's former FM Bob Carr calls it quits

SYDNEY - Australia's former foreign minister Bob Carr said Wednesday he was quitting politics and intended to "reinvent" himself as an Asia expert.

Carr, appointed in 2012 by then Labor prime minister Julia Gillard to replace Kevin Rudd who resigned to challenge her for the leadership, said his 18 months as Australia's top diplomat had been a "very great honour".

"It has been a learning experience that's unrivalled, equivalent to a dozen PhDs," he told a press conference.

"I've been able to do some good in the context of continuity of Australian foreign policy which I was stressing from day one."

The 66-year-old former premier of New South Wales state admitted his time in the national capital had been "a somewhat fleeting period".

But he said it would not be in the best interests of the Labor Party, which lost power in a September 7 election to conservative leader Tony Abbott, for him to remain as it rebuilds under new leader Bill Shorten.

Carr, known for his bookishness, will take on a role as a professorial fellow at the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre at Sydney University and become an adjunct professor at the University of New South Wales.

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