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Syria's al-Assad appoints ex-minister to form new govt

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Syria's al-Assad appoints ex-minister to form new govt

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Amid a wave of anti-government demonstrations in Syria, the country’s president has appointed his former agriculture minister to form a new government.

In what appeared to be a bid to appease public anger, President Bashar al-Assad accepted the resignation of his cabinet last week.

Witnesses and opposition groups say some 60 people have died in recent unrest.

But the appointment of Adel Safar to a form a government may not calm the on-going tension, as he served as a minister in the outgoing cabinet.

Observers say the government has little influence in Syria, with power held by Assad, his family and the security services.