Syria’s Assad endorses new government

Damascus: Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad endorsed on Sunday the new government, which maintained many of the old ministers.

On June 22, al-Assad issued a decree, tasking Minister of Electricity Imad Khamis with forming the new government, as the new prime minister replacing Wael al-Halqi, Xinhua cited the state news agency SANA as saying.

With Khamis as the new prime minister, the new government brought 14 new ministers and four ministers of state to the 32-seat cabinet.

Few of the key ministries that received a change are the Information Ministry, which is now claimed by Ramez Tarjaman, the former director of the national Syrian TV, replacing Omran al-Zoubi.

The Electricity Ministry, which was headed by Khamis in the previous government, the Industry Ministry, the Economy Ministry, the Oil Ministry and the Ministry of Finance.

Major ministries were kept unchanged, as Fahed Jassem al-Fraij remains the Minister of Defense and Walid al-Moallem continues to be the Foreign Minister.

The Interior Ministry also retained its old Minister Muhammad al-Sha’ar, while the Ministry of Justice maintained Najm al-Ahmad as its minister.

The new government did not include any of the home-based opposition figures.