Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Sunday that battling terrorism is a major challenge for the new government, according to the state-news agency SANA.
Assad made the remarks during the inauguration ceremony of the newly-formed government on Sunday, during which the president hailed the Syrian forces' patriotism and "remarkable achievements. "
The president also stressed that fighting terrorism must go in tandem with achieving national reconciliations, which is being implemented by the Syrian army and the rebels in many areas. He underscored the need for reconstruction after years of violence to ensure the basic needs of and services to the people.
Last week, Assad issued a decree to form a new government under incumbent Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi, in which 19 ministers still remain in offices, including Defense Minister Fahed Jassem, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem and Interior Minister Mohammad Sha'ar, with 15 new appointments.
Assad has added a new Ministry of Administrative Development that is entrusted with Hassan Nouri, who ran against Assad in the recent presidential elections.
The formation of the new government has been criticized by the domestically-based opposition groups as "nothing new," as all major ministries have kept their head officials.
Assad was sworn in on July 16 after winning a third term in the latest presidential elections. The current constitution stipulates the formation of a new government with every new term of the president. DAMASCUS, Aug. 31 (Xinhua)