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President Aziz confirms PM, appoints new government

Mauritania's president and former coup leader Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz has announced he will retain Prime Minister Moulaye Ould Mohamed Laghdaf to head a new 27-strong government, which includes the country's first woman foreign minister.

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AFP - Mauritania's President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz on Tuesday retained career diplomat Moulaye Ould Mohamed Laghdaf as prime minister and appointed a new government, officials said.

State media published a decree appointing the government of 27 ministers, mostly composed of supporters of Ould Abdel Aziz in the presidential election last month.

For the first time Mauritania will have a woman as foreign minister, Naha Mint Hamdi Ould Mouknass, who heads up a small pro-Aziz party.

Ould Mohamed Laghdaf tendered his resignation shortly after Ould Abdel Aziz, former head of a military junta, was sworn in as duly elected president of the west African largely desert nation on August 5.

A year ago, when General Aziz overthrew elected president Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, he chose Ould Mohamed Laghdaf, who was then ambassador to Brussels, to head a transitional government.

The diplomat remained head of a government of national unity set up last June among political factions for and against the military coup, after talks aimed at settling the political crisis and restoring democracy in the nation on the western edge of the Sahara.
  

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