Jordanian king calls for Syria's Assad to resign

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Jordan's King Abdullah II addresses the opening of the Jordanian Parliament in the capital Amman. (Photo: AFP - Khalil Mazraawi)

Published Monday, November 14, 2011

Jordan's King Abdullah II called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to stand down amid months of protests and violence that have rocked the country.

"I believe, if I were in his shoes, I would step down," the king said in a BBC interview on Monday.

"I would step down and make sure whoever comes behind me has the ability to change the status quo that we're seeing."

Abdullah is the first Arab head of state to publicly call for Assad's resignation. The Jordanian king advised Assad to stand down in the best interests of Syria.

Arab states have previously condemned Assad for the violence that has claimed the lives of over 3,500 people since pro-democracy protests began in March, but always stopped short of publicly calling for the Syrian President's resignation.

Abdullah's statements come only days after the Arab League voted to suspend Syria from the regional body, after an Arab League peace initiative failed to end a government crackdown on protests.

Syria has slammed the suspension as illegitimate, with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem warning the Arab League had taken a "dangerous step."

(al-Akhbar, AFP)

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