Syrian President Bashar al-Assad appointed Faisal Mekdad as the new foreign minister to replace his predecessor Walid al-Muallem, who recently passed away, the country’s presidential office announced on Sunday.
Syria’s former permanent representative to the United Nations in New York, Bashar Jaafari, has also been appointed as deputy foreign minister and Syrian Ambassador to Vienna Bassam Sabbagh will replace Jaafari as new UN envoy, the office added.
On 16 November, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem died at the age of 79. He had been the country’s top diplomat since 2006.
Mekdad, 66, started a career at the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates in 1994, and has been deputy foreign minister since 2006.
He was his country’s permanent representative to the UN from 2003 to 2006 before he became deputy foreign minister.