DAMASCUS, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- Ministers of Syria's newly-formed government were sworn in on Sunday before President Bashar al- Assad, the state-run SANA news agency reported.
Last week, Assad issued a decree to form a new government under incumbent Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi, keeping 19 ministers of major ministries, including Defense Minister Fahed Jassem, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem and Interior Minister Mohammad Sha'ar, and changing 15.
Assad has added a new Ministry of Administrative Development and entrusted it with Hassan Nouri, who ran against Assad in the recent presidential elections.
The formation of the new government was met with criticism from the domestically-based opposition groups which said the new formation "brought nothing new" as all of the major ministries have kept their head officials.
Assad won a third term in the latest presidential elections and was sworn in on July 16. The current constitution stipulates the formation of a new government with every new term of the president.