Syrian President Bashar al-Assad forms new government to boost economy

July 3, 2016 7:00 pm

Syrian President (AFP photo)

Syrian President Bashar
al-Assad has issued a decree to reshuffle certain cabinet posts amid
efforts made to improve the economy of the war-torn Arab country.

The
new cabinet, which was announced on Sunday, included key figures from
previous cabinets such as Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem and Interior
Minister Ibrahim al-Shaar.
Defense Minister Fahd Jassem al-Freij
retained his post while Adib Mayalleh, a former central bank governor,
was named minister of economy and foreign trade.
Mayalleh is known
in for his efforts in defending the local currency after its
sharp decline against the US dollar in recent years.
The reshuffle
comes more than two months after Syrians voted in parliamentary
elections. Assad appointed Electricity Minister Imad Khamis on June 22
as prime minister, tasking him with forming a new government.
The
changes in government come as Syria still grapples with a devastating
war with militants, especially in its eastern and northeastern areas.
The militancy, which Syria blames on foreign states, has cost the
country more than USD 200 billion in losses. Assad and other officials
have touted the reshuffle as a major move to improve the economy.
The
government in Damascus still controls much of the Syrian territory
while the military, backed by allies, has managed to repel terror groups
from key population centers in the north and east.
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