Muhammad Mustafa Mero

Muhammad Mustafa Mero (Arabic: محمد مصطفى ميرو‎) (1941 – 22 December 2020)[1] was a Syrian politician who served as Prime Minister of Syria from 7 March 2000 to 10 September 2003.

Muhammad Mustafa Mero
محمد مصطفى ميرو
Prime Minister of Syria
In office
7 March 2000 – 10 September 2003
PresidentHafez al-Assad
Abdul Halim Khaddam (interim)
Bashar al-Assad
DeputyMohammad Al Hussein
Muhammad Naji al-Otari
Mustafa Tlass
Farouk al-Sharaa
Preceded byMahmoud Zuabi
Succeeded byMuhammad Naji al-Otari
Governor of Aleppo Governorate
In office
26 December 1993 – 12 March 2000
PresidentHafez al-Assad
Preceded byMohamed Mawaldi
Succeeded bySalah Kanaj
Member of the Regional Command of the Syrian Regional Branch
In office
21 June 2000 – 9 June 2005
Personal details
Born1941 (1941)
Al Tall, First Syrian Republic
Died22 December 2020(2020-12-22) (aged 78–79)
Al Tall, Syria
Political partySyrian Regional Branch of the Ba'ath Party
Other political
National Progressive Front
Alma materDamascus University
Moscow State University
CabinetMero I
Mero II

Early life and educationEdit

Mero was born into a Sunni rural family in Al Tall in the outskirts of Damascus in 1941.[2][3][4][5] He attended Damascus University.[2] Later he acquired a PhD in Arabic language and literature from the University of Moscow.[5][a]


Mero became a member of the Ba'ath Party in 1966.[5] He joined the Arab Teachers' Union, becoming its secretary general for cultural affairs and publications. He served as governor of the Daraa province from 1980 to 1986.[5] He was appointed governor of the Al Hasakah province in 1986 and served in the post until 1993.[5] In 1993, he became governor of the Aleppo province and was in office until 2000.[5][6] Despite regional tensions between Syria and Turkey at the time, he was said to have enjoyed good relations with the Turkish government and was integral in dealings between the two governments.[7] In June 2000, he became a leading figure in the Ba'ath party.[2]

On 7 March 2000, shortly before the death of President Hafez al-Assad, Mero was appointed as prime minister,[8][9] replacing Mahmoud Zuabi, who had been in office since 1987.[10] Mero's cabinet was announced on 13 March 2000, and was tasked with tackling economic reforms and combatting corruption.[11] After the death of Assad in 2000, he was one of a nine-member committee that oversaw the transition period.[12]

He was retained by the new president, Bashar Assad, and was promoted within the ranks of the ruling Ba'ath Party. Mero headed a ministerial and commercial delegation to neighboring Iraq in August 2001, becoming the first Syrian prime minister to visit the country since the Gulf War.[11] In December 2001, in an effort to stimulate economic reform, Mero was charged with forming a new cabinet,[7] which saw extensive reorganization with several "pro-reform" ministers appointed to strategic portfolios related to the economy.[11] His premiership also oversaw improving ties with Turkey. In July 2003, Mero became the first Syrian prime minister to visit Turkey in 17 years, where he signed three agreements on health, oil and natural gas, and customs matters.[13]

Mero resigned from office in early September 2003, reportedly due to the stagnation of the process of economic reform.[11] Parliament speaker Mohammed Naji Al Otari replaced him as prime minister.[8] Mero continued his political career as a member of the central committee of the Ba'ath Party.[14] His term ended in June 2005, and he retired from politics.[15]


Mero died in Al-Tall on 22 December 2020, from COVID-19 during the COVID-19 pandemic in Syria. He was 79.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Some sources report that he gained his PhD from the Yerevan State University.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "وفاة آخر رئيس وزراء في عهد حافظ أسد بفيروس كورونا". Orient News (in Arabic). 22 December 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "On the new Syrian government". Arabic News. 12 December 2001. Archived from the original on 12 October 2008. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  3. ^ "Syria Primer" (PDF). Virtual Information Center. 24 April 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 February 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
  4. ^ Robert G. Rabil (2006). Syria, The United States, and the War on Terror in the Middle East. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 31. ISBN 978-0-275-99015-2. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Zisser, Eyal (September 2000). "Will Bashshar al-Asad Rule?". The Middle East Quarterly. VII (3): 3–12. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  6. ^ "Syria: A commitment to change". Euromoney. July 2001. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  7. ^ a b East, Roger; Thomas, Richard (2003). Profiles of People in Power: The World's Government Leaders. Routledge. p. 505. ISBN 1-85743-126-X.
  8. ^ a b "Syria appoints new prime minister". BBC. 10 September 2003. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  9. ^ Political Chronology of the Middle East. Routledge. 12 October 2012. p. 2038. ISBN 978-1-135-35673-6. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  10. ^ The Middle East and North Africa 2003. Europa Publications. 2003. pp. 1019. ISBN 978-1-85743-132-2. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  11. ^ a b c d Europa World Year Book 2. Taylor & Francis. 2004. pp. 4057–4061. ISBN 1-85743-255-X.
  12. ^ "Bashar Aims to Consolidate Power in the Short-Term and to Open up Gradually". APS Diplomat News Service. 19 June 2000. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  13. ^ Bal, İdris (2004). Turkish Foreign Policy in Post Cold War Era. Universal Publishers. p. 369. ISBN 1-58112-423-6.
  14. ^ Moubayed, Sami (1 June 2005). "The faint smell of jasmine". Al Ahram Weekly. 744. Archived from the original on 25 March 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
  15. ^ Moubayed, Sami (July 2005). "Syria: Reform or Repair?" (PDF). Arab Reform Bulletin. 3 (6). Retrieved 8 March 2013.