Syrian state media: Assad makes minor gov't changes

February 9, 2013 17:14

BEIRUT - Syria's President Bashar Assad appointed new oil and finance ministers on Saturday, state media said, announcing a limited reshuffle during a deep economic crisis.

Syria's near two-year revolt against Assad, which has turned into a civil war, has ravaged infrastructure and halved the output of staple crops. It is also putting pressure on the Syrian pound.

State news agency SANA said Assad replaced five more ministers including those for agriculture and housing. Security posts such as the defense and interior ministers remained unchanged.

It said Assad appointed Suleiman Abbas, a former deputy oil minister, as the new oil minister and Ismail Ismail, a former head of the state owned grain company, as the new finance minister.

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