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Emergency law in Syria can be lifted next week -president

© RIA Novosti . Sergey GuneevBashar al-Assad
Bashar al-Assad - Sputnik International
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An emergency law, which lasted for the last 48 years in Syria, can be lifted next week, the country's President Bashar al-Assad said on Saturday.

An emergency law, which lasted for the last 48 years in Syria, can be lifted next week, the country's President Bashar al-Assad said on Saturday.

"Next week is the maximum (time) limit for completion of these laws regarding the lifting of the state of emergency," Assad said in a speech broadcasted by Syrian state television.

"When the lifting of the emergency law package is issued, it should be firmly enforced," the president said. "The Syrian people are civilized. They love order and they do not accept chaos and mob rule," he continued.

"The world is rapidly changing around us and we have to keep up with developments," he said. "We have to focus on the demands and the aspirations of the people or there will be a sense of anger."

A new government was formed in Syria on Thursday as the country's leadership attempts to ease pressure from protesters for reform, the Sana news agency reported.

President Bashar al-Assad announced the new government, which will be headed by Prime Minister Adel Safar. The former agriculture minister was named to head the government on April 3 following the resignation of Mohammed Naji Otri on March 29.

Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem and Defense Minister Ali Habib have retained their posts, but a number of key departments got new heads, including the interior, finance and media affairs ministries.

Scores of people have been killed in protests and clashes that have been raging since mid-March as opponents of the country's leadership found inspiration in successful uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. In response to the month of pro-democracy protests, the authorities have pledged to implement economic and political reforms.

DAMASCUS, April 16 (RIA Novosti)

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