|King Abdullah told an interviewer the Syrian president should begin new era of dialogue before resigning [Reuters]|
Speaking to an international news agency, Jordan's King Abdullah has called for Bashar al-Assad, the president of Syria, to step down in the interest of the Syrian people.
"I believe, if I were in his shoes, I would step down," Abdullah told the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) 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."
King Abdullah, the first Arab ruler to issue such a call over the eight months of uprising, 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.
Damascus had no immediate public comment.
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