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Syrian government reshuffle aimed at country’s revival, says Russian expert

Yelena Suponina from the Russian Institute for Strategic Research emphasized that the ministers of the key agencies - such as the defense and foreign ministries, have retained their positions

MOSCOW, November 27. /TASS/. Reshuffles in the Syrian government in which one third of the ministers were replaced show that President Bashar al-Assad is working actively towards rebuilding the country, Yelena Suponina, an expert from the Russian Institute for Strategic Research, told TASS in comments on the government reshuffle.

"A telling change is replacement of the Minister for Public Works and Housing (the name of the new minister is Suhail Abdel Latif - TASS). Some time ago Syria had no such ministry, while now this can be seen as a good sign demonstrating that the president puts much emphasis on issues of rebuilding the country," the expert said. "Syria needs investment, the country must rebuild its devastated economy, and possibly this ministry will play a major role in the near future," Suponina said.

The expert emphasized that the ministers of the key agencies - such as the defense and foreign ministries, have retained their positions. "Only one of the top officials left his post - the interior minister (General Mohammad al-Shaar was replaced by Brigadier General Mohammad Khaled al-Rahmoun - TASS), but he had been in that position for a rather long time and the resignation was expected," Suponina added.

"He was succeeded by a man from the intelligence agencies. This means that President Assad continues trusting his intelligence services and prefers appointing generals from there to important positions," she added.

According to the expert, the changes in the Interior Ministry should be viewed rather as reshuffle, and not as an intention to update the activity of the interior ministry.

Syrian government reshuffles

On Monday, President Assad replaced nine ministers. Apart from the above ministries, the ministries of water resources, domestic trade, tourism, education, higher education, communications and technologies, as well as industry got new ministers.

Assad also established the Committee for National Reconciliation at the Syrian government, which will be led by Minister of State for National Reconciliation Affairs Ali Haidar.

Besides, on Monday the Syrian leader also appointed the new governor of Damascus province, Adel al-Olabi, who replaced Bishr al-Sabban.