Syria’s president orders formation of new government, most ministers unchanged

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Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad on Tuesday ordered the formation of a new government with most ministers remained unchanged.

According to a list of names released by the state news agency SANA, most ministers remained the same including top ministers like Prime Minister Hussein Arnous, Minister of Defense Ali Abdullah Ayoub, Interior Minister Muhammad Al-Rahmoun and Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad.

The new change covered five ministers in total, namely the ministers of information, social affairs, as well as internal trade, and two state ministers.

The new information minister is Boutros Hallaq, who holds several positions at the Damascus University, such as vice president of Damascus University for scientific affairs, the head of the department of public relations and media at the faculty of mass communication, and a professor of public relations and advertising in the same college.

He was also the dean of the faculty of mass communication between 2013 and 2017 and holds a doctorate in the management of media institutions in 1999 from Cairo University, a master’s degree in public relations and advertising in 1996 from the same university, and a BA in journalism in 1987.

Amru Salem was named as the minister of internal trade. Salem previously held the positions of minister of communications and adviser to Assad.

The third new minister is Muhammad Seif Al-Deen who was named as the minister of social affairs.

Seif Al-Deen held the position of assistant minister of public works and housing for administrative and legal affairs, and also held the position of director of social affairs in the same ministry.

Earlier this month, Assad tasked Prime Minister Hussein Arnous with forming a new government following the presidential election held in May, which extended Assad’s presidency into a fourth term in office.

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