Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Al-Assad tasks official with forming 'new government' in Syria

(CNN) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has tasked an official with "the formation of a new government," state-run media reported Wednesday -- though it was not clear whether the move would bring about any significant change.

Riyad Farid Hijab, who has been agriculture minister since April, was chosen for the assignment, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported.

In recent months, the Syrian regime has touted what it calls "political reforms" in light of a yearlong uprising that has spawned international condemnation of the government's bloody crackdown on dissidents.

But French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero described the appointment of Hijab as "another masquerade, which does not meet the expectations of the Syrians and the international community." Read More