Last Updated: Thu Aug 09, 2012 14:23 pm (KSA) 11:23 am (GMT)

Syrian president appoints ex-health minister as new PM

Former health minister Wael al-Halki (L) was appointed Syria’s new premier on Thursday. (Reuters)
Former health minister Wael al-Halki (L) was appointed Syria’s new premier on Thursday. (Reuters)

President Bashar al-Assad has appointed Wael al-Halqi, former health minister, as Syria’s new premier, state television reported on Thursday.

“The president has signed Decree 298, appointing Wael al-Halqi as the new prime minister,” the broadcaster reported.

Halqi was appointed to replace Riad Hijab, whose defection to the opposition was announced on Monday.

Halqi, born in 1964, is from the southern province of Deraa where the 17-month-old uprising against Assad erupted. He replaces caretaker premier Omar Ghalawanji who was appointed hours after Hijab's defection.

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