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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 October, 2003, 22:26 GMT 23:26 UK
Jordan appoints new government
King Abdullah II of Jordan (front row C) and new Prime Minister Faisal al-Fayez (3rd L) pose for a group photo with the newly named cabinet
Moderates dominate the new cabinet
A new cabinet has been appointed in Jordan following the resignation of Prime Minister Ali Abu al-Ragheb.

The cabinet includes three female ministers, and Western-leaning pro-reformists.

"This will be a homogeneous government team," said Prime Minister Faisal al-Fayez who was appointed last week.

Marwan Muasher is to remain foreign minister while Mr al-Fayez retains the defence portfolio.

The new government is likely to continue Jordan's IMF-guided free market reforms and traditional support for US policies in the region, officials say.

Iraqi links

Mr al-Ragheb had stepped down amid charges of corruption and nepotism after three years in the job.

He had formed his government in June 2000 with a mandate to boost the economy and attract foreign investment.

But many politicians have questioned his business ties with influential Iraqi businessmen and Saddam Hussein's officials.

His successor, Prime Minister al-Fayez, is a close palace aide and career diplomat from the influential Bani Sakhr tribe.

Mr al-Fayez's background will command respect of the parliament which is elected under a voting system favouring Bedouin areas over the largely Palestinian cities, which are Islamic strongholds and highly politicised, correspondents say.


Palace officials say the palace's free-market reforms will face fewer hurdles than under previous conservative administrations.

The information ministry has been abolished.

Asma Khader, a woman, has been appointed minister without portfolio with the responsibility of being the government's spokesperson.

Ms Khader is a prominent lawyer and champion of human rights, particularly women's rights.

In an open letter to King Abdullah II, the prime minister said his government would work to build a prosperous Jordan, which would be a "moderate and tolerant Muslim nation that sets an example to others".

Jordan to get new prime minister
22 Oct 03  |  Middle East
Jordan hopes for economic upturn
07 Jul 03  |  Business
Country profile: Jordan
11 Sep 03  |  Country profiles
Timeline: Jordan
07 Aug 03  |  Country profiles

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