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Syria's Assad should step aside, says Jordan's Abdullah

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Syria's Assad should step aside, says Jordan's Abdullah Empty Syria's Assad should step aside, says Jordan's Abdullah

Post by Mr007 on Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:01 pm

Lyse Doucet By Lyse Doucet BBC News
Continue reading the main story
Syria Crisis

* Revolution at the Arab League
* Press divided over Syria suspension
* In pictures: Pressure on Syria
* Tough dilemma for Arab League

Like most Arab leaders, Jordan's King Abdullah is still grappling with how best to respond to the growing crisis in Syria.

But he is now the first Arab leader to openly say President Bashar al-Assad should step down and "make sure whoever comes behind... has the ability to change the status quo".

His candid remarks, coupled with the Arab League's bold suspension of Syria, are a turning point in the region's approach to Damascus.

Speaking in a BBC interview during a visit to London, Jordan's monarch said if the Syrian leader acted in "the interests 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".

King Abdullah still described Mr Assad as a leader who "has reform in his blood." His greatest criticism was directed at what he called "the system" that did not allow for reform.

"I think we would delude ourselves," he emphasised, "in thinking that the system would change dramatically if the individual was gone."

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