Syria gets new cabinet

The Syrian Prime Minister has announced a new cabinet but has left the key posts of foreign affairs, interior affairs, defence and economy unchanged.

    Bashar al-Assad has promised political and social reform

    The appointments on Thursday by Muhammad

    Naji al-Otari mean

     more than half the faces in the new government,

    dominated by members of the country's ruling party, are new.

    Officials said Ghassan al-Rifai, who was minister of

    economy and foreign trade in the last government, would take on

    a new portfolio expanded to include domestic trade and supply.

    Former Deputy Prime Minister Muhammad al-Husayn was

    appointed finance minister, and

    Ahmad al-Hasan, a former ambassador, replaced Adnan Omran as i

    nformation minister.

    US pressure 

    Syrian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Bouthaina Shaaban, was

    appointed minister of expatriates, the officials said.

    President Bashar al-Assad accepted the resignation of

    former Prime Minister Muhammad Mustafa Mero last week and

    appointed Otari, a former parliamentary speaker, to head a new

    government.

    It was the second reshuffle that al-Assad - who took office in

    2000 vowing economic and political reform

    - has

    carried out since he became president.

    It coincides with mounting US pressure on Syria over its

    support for Lebanon's Hizb Allah and Palestinian resistance fighters

    , as well as accusations of meddling in Iraq to

    undermine the US-led occupation of the country.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.