Monday, October 04, 2004

Do over

Government "reshuffle" in Syria:

President Bashar al-Assad reshuffled Syria’s cabinet on Monday, changing eight ministers including the key interior, economy and information portfolios, a government source said.

Ghazi Kanaan, a former head of Syrian military intelligence in Lebanon, was named interior minister, the official Syrian Arab News Agency reported.

The reshuffle of the one-year-old cabinet handed the information portfolio to the editor-in-chief of the ruling party’s newspaper Mahdi Dakhl-Allah.

Amer Lotfi, the manager of the state-owned cotton arm in Aleppo, replaced Ghassan al-Rifai, a former World Bank official, as economy and commerce minister. Rifai was in the first cabinet appointed by Assad after he assumed power in 2000 succeeding his late father Hafez al-Assad.

The industry portfolio went to Ghassan Tayara, the country’s engineers syndicate chief.

The reshuffle that introduced eight first time ministers also included the portfolios of health, Islamic endowments, Justice and social affairs and labour.

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