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Tajik President Names New Defense Minister

Tajik Defense Minister Sherali Hairulloev, shown appearing in parliament on October 1, was replaced "due to health issues."
DUSHANBE -- Tajik President Emomali Rahmon is reshuffling the government after having been sworn in for his fourth seven-year term on November 16.

Tajikistan's longtime defense minister, Sherali Hairulloev, who occupied that position for more than 18 years, was replaced on November 20 "due to health issues."

His position be will filled by Sheralisho Mirzo, the commander of Tajik Border Forces.

Interior Minister Ramazon Rahimov and the chief of the state Committee for National Security, Saimumin Yatimov, will remain in their posts.

Rahmon dismissed First Deputy Prime Minister Matlubhon Davlatov and the governor of the volatile Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, Kodir Kosim, on November 19.

Rahmon, who has been running Tajikistan for 21 years, also ordered several ministries and state agencies to merge or share responsibilities.

With reporting by Asia-Plus