Syria's Assad swears in government, urges reconstruction

A picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency on July 16, 2014, shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad being sworn in for a new seven-year term in DamascusSyria’s embattled President Bashar al-Assad swore in his new government on Sunday, saying security and reconstruction would be top priorities and urging ministers to tackle corruption. The new government, appointed earlier this week after Assad’s June re-election, takes office as the death toll in the country’s conflict since March 2011 soars past 191,000. Assad urged the new government to “provide a new vision,” state news agency SANA reported, and to avoid the “negatives of the previous stage.” He said the government’s success would depend on “earning the trust of citizens through transparency and credibility,” SANA said.

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