SYDNEY - Australia’s foreign minister Kevin Rudd resigned Wednesday, saying he was unable to continue without Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s support, paving the way for him to make a leadership challenge. In a dramatic late-night resignation speech from Washington, Rudd said the only honourable course of action was for him to step down.

, as reports circulated in Australia that Gillard was preparing to sack him. “The simple truth is that I cannot continue to serve as foreign minister if I don’t have Prime Minister Gillard’s support,” he told reporters.