x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Al Assad appoints new PM for Syria

Syria Unrest: Syria's embattled President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday appointed agriculture minister Riad Hijab as the strife-torn country's new premier and tasked him with forming a government, state television reported.

DAMASCUS // Syria's embattled President Bashar Al Assad today appointed agriculture minister Riad Hijab as the strife-torn country's new premier and tasked him with forming a government, state television reported.

"President Assad issued a decree asking Riad Hijab to form a new government of the Syrian Arab Republic," the television reported.

The appointment comes after a new parliament was voted in on May 7 in elections boycotted by opposition groups.

Syrian foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi confirmed the report on Twitter, saying, "Dr Riad Hijab is the new prime minister of Syria and will form the new government."

Syria also declared that the ambassadors of several Western were personae non gratae, in an official statement from the foreign ministry.

"Some states recently informed heads of our diplomatic missions and embassy staff that they are unwelcome," it the statement said, adding Syria was now designating the ambassadors of the United States, Britain, France and Turkey, among others, as personae non gratae.