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Obama tribute as US defence secretary Hagel resigns

US president Barack Obama has paid tribute to Chuck Hagel after he accepted his defence secretary's resignation. The president said Mr Hagel has concluded it is an "appropriate time" for him to complete his service.

Mr Hagel will stay in place at the Pentagon until his successor is confirmed.

The defence secretary has had a rocky tenure of nearly two years in which he has struggled to break through the White House's insular foreign policy team. He stepped down under pressure amid multiple foreign policy crises, including the rise of the Islamic State group.

But Mr Obama called Mr Hagel "an exemplary defence secretary" and a steady hand for strategy and budget.

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