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SYRIA - Dec. 13 - Govt. Reshuffle.

The state-run SANA news agency reports 20 positions within the cabinet change hands, with Ghassan Rifai replacing Mohammad Imadi as the minister of economy and foreign trade; Mohammad Hussein taking the post of Khaled Raad, the deputy prime minister for economic affairs; and Mohammad Atrash taking over as finance minister. The ministers of petroleum, interior, communications and agriculture are also replaced with the new ones. (The reshuffle is widely seen as a sign that Pres. Bashar Assad is serious about reforming the centrally planned economy). PM Mohammad Mero will stay on, as will FM Farouk Shara and Defence Minister Gen. Mustafa Tlas - veterans from the government of Hafez Assad.
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Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:7SYRI
Date:Dec 15, 2001
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