Syrian Defense Minister term extended
The term in office of veteran Syrian Defense Minister Mustafa Tlass, who has reached the retirement age of 70, has been extended by two years, political sources said Wednesday.
The sources, according to AFP, said the measure was adopted by a presidential decree at the beginning of May.
The exceptional move to extend the term beyond retirement age shows the continuing influence of the "old guard" following the June 2000 death of former Syrian president Hafez al-Assad, who was succeeded by his son, Bashar al-Assad.
General Tlass has served as defense minister in Syria ever since 1972, two years after Hafez al-Assad rose to power, and is a member of the political bureau of Syria's ruling Ba’ath party.
In January 1999, the former president had already passed a decree raising the retirement age for the posts of defense minister and army chief of staff from 68 to 70. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)