Jordan’s king says Syrian leader should step down

King Abdullah of Jordan has said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should step down in the interest of his country, the British Broadcasting Corporation reported on Monday.

“I believe, if I were in his shoes, I would step down,” the king told BBC World News in an interview.

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

In a surprise move on Saturday, the Arab League suspended Syria‘s membership and called on its army to stop killing civilians.

European Union governments agreed on Monday to extend sanctions against Syria to 18 more individuals associated with Assad’s violent crackdown on dissent.

King Abdullah said the Syrian president should begin a new era of political dialogue before stepping down, as there was no-one behind him to change the status quo, the BBC reported.

“Again I don’t think the system allows for that, so 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.”

LONDON (Reuters) – (Editing by Giles Elgood)


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