Embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday named his staunch loyalist Riad Hijab as his new Prime Minister, the state television reported.
Currently Agriculture Minister, the appointment of Hijab, 46, comes a month after parliamentary elections held under Syria's revised Constitution. The Opposition boycotted the elections.
His first task as Prime Minister will be to form a government in the violence-torn country where more than 10,000 people have been killed in fighting between security forces and pro-democracy protesters backed by Army deserters.
Even though a ceasefire brokered by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is in force, crackdown by security forces continued to put down the uprising against the Assad regime that broke out 15 months ago.
Meanwhile, the government agreed to allow humanitarian workers and supplies in four cities, worst affected by the current wave of violence.
The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) told reporters in Geneva that access had been granted to workers from the World Food Program and eight other U.N. agencies as well as seven NGOs.
Workers are expected to arrive within a few days and begin their activities in the cities, including the central city of Homs and Daraa in the south.
OCHA says at least one million people in Syria are urgently in need of assistance as food and medicine have been in short supply since the crackdown began in March, 2011.
Syrian human rights activists say government forces are continuing their attacks in Homs and Daraa, and 65 people have been killed across the country in the past two days. They are skeptical that workers will be able to provide effective assistance while crackdown continued.
by RTT Staff Writer
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