Syrian president asks former minister to form new government

Syrian president asks former minister to form new government
# 04 April 2011 07:37 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. Syria’s former agriculture minister, Adel Safar, was asked by President Bashar al-Assad to form a new government on Sunday, APA reports. Assad, facing domestic pressure unprecedented in his 11-year rule, dashed expectations he would lift almost 50 years of emergency rule in an address to the nation on Wednesday, his first since the protests began. Instead, he accused Syria’s "enemies" of inciting sectarian divisions in the country ruled by emergency law since the Baath party seized power in 1963.

Aged 58, Safer is a Baath party member who graduated in agriculture from the University of Damascus before earning a doctorate in France. From 1997 to 2000 he was dean of the Faculty of Agriculture in Damascus before becoming agriculture minister in 2003 under Mohammad Naji Otri, who quit as premier last week, a fortnight after the first anti-regime protests.
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