Monday, November 14, 2011

Jordan calls on Assad to resign

King Abdullah of Jordan: "If Bashar had an interest in his country he would step down"
King Abdullah of Jordan has said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should step down in the interest of his country.
"I believe, if I were in his shoes, I would step down," he has told BBC World News in an exclusive interview.
"I would step down and make sure whoever comes behind me has the ability to change the status quo that we're seeing."
Neighbouring Jordan has been highly critical of Syria's crackdown on anti-government protesters in recent months.
King Abdullah said the president should begin a new era of political dialogue before leaving office.
"If Bashar has the interest of his country, he would step down, but he would also create an ability to reach out and start a new phase of Syrian political life."
Jordan is not the first Arab country to be critical of the Syrian crackdown.
Both the Saudi and Qatari ambassadors left Damascus in the summer in protest at the repression.
League suspension
Earlier on Monday, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem reacted defiantly to the Arab League's suspension of Syria's membership over the repression.
In Brussels, European foreign ministers are expected to approve moves to tighten sanctions against Syria later on Monday.
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe has said it was time to see how Syria's civilian population could be better protected and said he hoped the UN Security Council would finally take a position on the matter.
The UN says more than 3,500 people have died since the start of the protests in March while the Syrian authorities blame the violence on terrorists.


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