New Syrian Government Formed; Veteran Guards Retain Defence and Foreign Portfolios

Published December 14th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

The Syrian Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa Miro formed a new government with major reshuffles in economic and social ministries but the old guards retained the defence and foreign ministry posts.  

According to AFP, President Bashar al-Assad had tasked Miro on Monday with the formation of a new government in a move analysts said was aimed at dragging the country out of two decades of economic stagnation.  

Baath party veteran General Mustafa Tlass will remain as defence minister, a post he has held since 1970, and also as deputy prime minister, the official SANA news agency reported.  

Additionally, Foreign Minister Faruq al-Shara will stay on in the job he has held since 1984, and has also been named deputy prime minister.  

However, Ghassan Rifai, a veteran of the World Bank, was named as economy and foreign trade minister, replacing Mohammad Imadi.  

Another economics expert, Mohammad al-Atrash, becomes finance minister, replacing Khaled Mahayni. In all, PM Miro has appointed 18 new ministers, while three have changed jobs.  

Information Minister Adnan Omran remains, but Interior Minister Mohammad Harba will be replaced by General Ali Hammoud, former head of general intelligence, SANA reported.  

Oil Minister Maher Jamal will be replaced by Ibrahim Haddad, previously director of Syria's Atomic Energy Organisation and the country's delegate to the International Atomic Energy Agency. Issam Zaim, former state minister for planning, whose old job was eliminated in the new cabinet, takes over at the industry ministry.  

Among other independents, Saadallah Agha al-Qalaa, a specialist computer engineer, becomes tourism minister while Ghada al-Jabi becomes employment and social welfare minister.  

Following is the full text of decree No.622 for the year 2001 issued on Thursday by President Bashar Al-Assad regarding the formation of the new government as appeared in SANA: 

- Mr. Mohamad Mustafa Mero, president of the council of ministers. 

- General Mustafa Tlass, vice president of the council of ministers, minister of defense. 

- Mohamad Naji Al-Itri, vice president of the council of ministers for services affairs. 

- Mr. Farouk Al –Sharaa vice- president of the council of ministers, minister of foreign affairs. 

- Mr. Mohamad Al-Hussein vice-President of the council of ministers for the economic affairs. 

- Mr. Nasser Qaddour, minister of state for emigrants affairs. 

- Mr. Mohamad Iyad Al-Shatti minister of health. 

- Mr. Mohamad Radwan Martini minister of irrigation. 

- Mr. Muneeb Saem Al-Dahr minister of electricity. 

- Mr. Mohamad Ziadeh, as minister of Al-Awqaf. 

- Mr. Adnan Omran minister of information. 

- Mr. Haytham Duehi minister of presidency affairs. 

- Mr. Mohamad Al-Sayed minister of education. 

- Mr. Mohamad Nabil Al –Khatib minister of justice. 

- Mr. Issam Al-Zaeem minister of industry. 

- Mr. Hassan Risheh minister of higher education. 

- Mr. Mukram Ubeib minister of transport. 

- Mr. Mohamad Al-Atrash minister of finance. 

- Mr. Ali Hammoud minister of interior. 

- Mr. Ghassan Al-Rifai minister of economy and foreign trade. 

- Mr. Ibrahim Haddad minister of petroleum. 

- Mr. Bashir Al-Munajed minister of communications. 

Mr.Hilal Al-Atrash as minister of local administration. 

- Mr. Saadallah Agha Al-Qalaa minister of tourism. 

- Mr. Nouriddin Mina minister of agriculture and agrarian reform. 

- Mr. Husam Al –Aswad minister of construction. 

- Mrs. Najwa Qassab Hassan minister of culture. 

- Mr. Adnan Khuzam minister of state for environment affairs. 

- Mr. Ayman Wanly minister of housing. 

- Mrs. Ghada Al-Jabi minister of labour and social affairs. 

- Mr. Bassam Mohamad Rustom minister of supply and internal commerce. 

- Mr. Faysal Jawish minister of state. 

- Mr. Abdul Karim Sayed Yousef minister of state. 

- Mr. Abdul Nasser Abdul Mu’ti Daoud minister of state. ( 



© 2001 Al Bawaba (

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