King of Jordan calls for Syria's Assad to step down
Jordan's King Abdullah II on Monday became the first Arab leader to call for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, in a BBC interview.
"I believe, if I were in his shoes, I would step down," the king said. "I would step down and make sure whoever comes behind me has the ability to change the status quo that we're seeing."
Jordan has been critical of its northern neighbour Syria's crackdown on anti-government protesters in recent months.
King Abdullah said Assad should usher in a new era of political dialogue before stepping down.
"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," he told the BBC.
Syria has reacted angrily to the decision at the weekend by the Arab League to suspend the country from the pan-Arab body.
© 2011 AFP