Syrian vice-president to quit

Syrian Vice-President Abdel Halim Khaddam intends to resign to make way for the younger generation, an official of the ruling Baath Party has said.

    Khaddam, 73, has been vice-president for more than 10 years

    Khaddam

    indicated on Monday, during the

    first day of the Baath Party congress, that

    he intended to retire,

    said Ahmed Haj Ali on Tuesday,

    a former Information Ministry adviser.

    Rumours of Khaddam's pending resignation have circulated

    for days. On Monday, Emigrants Affairs Minister Bouthaina

    Shaaban, who is spokeswoman for the congress, denied that

    Khaddam had resigned.

    Khaddam, 73, has been vice-president for more than 10

    years. He wielded considerable influence in Lebanon for

    many years as Syria's top official for the neighbouring

    state.

    He has been a member of the Baath Party's regional

    command for almost 30 years. During the Lebanese civil war,

    he used to visit Beirut and, as Syria's top official for

    Lebanon, was heavily involved in the day-to-day politics of

    the country.

    "The man would like to open the way for the younger

    generation," Haj Ali said. "It is

    his personal wish. He wants to give a positive example to

    others."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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