Official website of His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein
Press Room
News Room

News Release
Media & Communication Directorate
Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

A Royal Decree Approves the New Government
Amman, 21 July 2003

Amman, 21/07/2003, (Communication & Information Division - Royal Hashemite Court) - A Royal Decree was issued on Monday approving the formation of a new government led by Prime Minister Ali Abul Ragheb.

Following are members of the 29-member government:

1- Ali Abul Ragheb: Prime Minister and Minister of Defense.
2-Fares Nabelsi: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice.
3-Mohammad Halaiqah: Deputy Prime Minister for the Economic Affairs and Minister of Administrative development.
4-Mohammad Hamdan: Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
5-Abdel Razaq Tebeishat: Minister of Municipal Affairs.
6-Mohammad Affash Adwan: Minister of Prime Ministry Affairs and State Minister for Political Affairs.
7-Tawfiq Kreishan: Minister of the Parliamentary Affairs.
8- Sameer Habashneh: Interior Minister.
9- Marwan Muasher: Foreign Minister.
10- Michel Marto: Minister of Finance.
11- Hosni Abu Gheeda: Minister of Public Works and Housing.
12- Khaled Touqan: Minister of Education.
13- Fawas Hatem Zu'bi: Minister of Telecommunication and Information Technology.
14- Abed Shakhanbeh: State Minister for Legal Affairs.
15- Ahmad Helayel: Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs.
16- Mohammad Batayneh: Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources.
17- Hazem Naser: Minister of Water and Irrigation.
18- Nadir Thahabi: Minister of Transport.
19- Basem Awadallah: Minister of Planning.
20- Muzahem Muheisen: Minister of Labor.
21- Shaher Bak: State Minister of Foreign Affairs.
22- Haider Mahmoud: Minister of Culture.
23- Trad al-Fayez: Minister of Agriculture.
24- Samer Taweel: Minister of Tourism and Antiquities.
25- Mrs Ruwaydeh Mayatah: Minister of Social Development.
26- Mohammad Abu Hammur: Minister of Trade and Industry.
27- Hesahm Gharaybeh: Minister of Environment.
28- Hakim al-Qadi: Minister of Health.
29- Nabeel Shareef: Minister of Information.

Members of the new cabinet were sworn in before His Majesty King Abdullah at a Royal Court ceremony and in presence of Royal family princes and senior Royal Court officials.

On Sunday, King Abdullah accepted the government's resignation and designated Abul-Ragheb as prime minister to form a new Cabinet. Of the departing 26-member Cabinet, 21 retained their posts, including Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher and Finance Minister Michel Marto.

The reshuffle is the sixth since Abul Ragheb took office on June 19, 2000. The change has been expected since last month, when the government supervised the first parliamentary elections in six years.

Abul Ragheb's new Cabinet included two state ministers for legal and parliamentary affairs, who will liaise with the 110-seat Chamber of Deputies, which was elected June 17.

In his letter of designation to Abul Ragheb, King Abdullah voiced deep appreciation to the outgoing government's achievements over the past three years and paid tribute to the Prime Minister's loyalty, allegiance and dedication to serve the nation.

"As I accept your resignation, I entrust you to form a new government to continue the approach we started for reform, development and modernization in all fields of life with a view to complete building the state of institutions, law and the society of justice and equality," King Abdullah said.

"This stage of our national march in which the House of Deputies has resumed its work and effective participation requires the highest degree of cooperation and action in team work spirit between the three state authorities and the civil society institutions," King Abdullah said.

In his letter, the King stressed a number of firm national principles that should be taken as a basis for realizing the nation's objectives.

"Preserving and protecting national unity from any harm or infringement is essential pillar in our national priorities," King Abdullah said.

Justice is the basis of governance and all people are equal before the law, no one its better than the other except in how much he or she can give for the nation, the King added.

" Our democratic approach is the way of life that we have chose and committed ourselves to and therefore this approach should be further deepened and strengthened through developing political life and activating the role of political parties and civil society institutions," King Abdullah said. " We want a comprehensive development and development should be made in one aspect of life at the expense of the other... and openness to the outside world and benefiting from its their experiments is the feature of this age and thank God, our contacts with the world community has yielded its fruit over the past year," the King said.

In his letter to the new government, King Abdullah affirmed Jordan's adherence to the Arab fold and called upon the government to further cement relations with all Arab countries. " Jordan, with God help will remain an integral part of the Arab nation under all circumstances and therefore promoting relations with our Arab brethren and supporting the joint Arab action is a duty we will always try to fulfill," the King said reaffirming Jordan's utmost support to Palestinian brothers until they establish their independent state on their national soil.

The King also affirmed Jordan's stand by Iraq preserving its unity and territorial integrity. "We will stand by the Iraqi people's right to choose their leadership and determine their future," the King said.