New Syrian government sworn in

Ministers of Syria`s newly-formed government were sworn in Sunday before President Bashar al-Assad, media reported.

Damascus: Ministers of Syria`s newly-formed government were sworn in Sunday before President Bashar al-Assad, media reported.

Last week, Assad issued a decree to form a new government under incumbent Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi, keeping 19 ministers of major ministries, including Defence Minister Fahed Jassem, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem and Interior Minister Mohammad Sha`ar, and changing 15.

Assad has added a new Ministry of Administrative Development and entrusted it with Hassan Nouri, who ran against Assad in the recent presidential elections, Xinhua reported citing the state-run SANA news agency.

The formation of the new government was met with criticism from the domestically-based opposition groups which said the new formation "brought nothing new" as all of the major ministries have kept their head officials.

Assad won a third term in the latest presidential elections and was sworn in July 16. The current constitution stipulates the formation of a new government with every new term of the president.

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