Jordan's King Abdullah Calls On Syria's President Assad to Step Down


Jordan's King Abdullah Calls On Syria's President Assad to Step Down
by Darius Kadivar

Jordan's king has become the first Arab leader to openly say Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should stand down. King Abdullah's comments came in an exclusive BBC interview (Related BBC News Here)

Recommended Readings:

Basharal-Assad: Syria's unintended président (CNN)

Jordan's king on Syria's president: 'I would step down' (CNN)

Lyse Doucet of the BBC Reports :

King Abdullah's remarks, coupled with the Arab League's decision to suspend Damascus, mark a turning point in the Arab world's approach to Syria.

But Jordan's monarch was emphatic that President Assad stepping down was not enough. His call to the Syrian leader was about changing a "system". He admitted that no-one was clear how to do that, and the Syrian regime still believed it was "in a fairly comfortable position".

King Abdullah, like many others, also emphasised there was great concern about "life after Bashar". He warned that any outside intervention in Syria would open "Pandora's box".

The relationship between two Arab leaders, seen as a new generation when they took over from their fathers, has been under growing strain. But King Abdullah said he still believed the Syrian leader had "reform in his blood". He had reached out to him earlier this year, even if, as he admitted, Jordan was not "by any means... a perfect story".

Jordan King Say’s Assad Must Step Down:

HM KING ABDULLAH has become the first Arab leader to demand that President Bashar al-Assad of Syria should step down. UN sources say more than 3,500 citizens have died since the crackdown on protests began in March 2011


Nisreen El-Shamayleh on Jordan's call for Syria's Assadto step down (AlJazeera English):

Speaking to an international newsagency, Jordan's King Abdullah has called for Bashar al-Assad, the president ofSyria, to step down in the interest ofthe Syrian people. 

Jordan has beencritical of its northern neighbour Syria's crackdown on anti-governmentprotesters in recent months.

The latest statements will have profound effectsfor Jordan-Syria relations. 

Al Jazeera's Nisreen el-Shamayleh reports fromAmman.






Jordan 1980:

Archive Footage on Jordan andits relationship in the Middle East. Ofcourse, King Hussein is featured in it. There is talks with Isreal, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Colonel al-Gaddafi, United States, and the USSR

Syria 1980:

Archive Footage of President Hafez al-Assad talking with Middle Eastern Leaders and Soviet Union President Leonid Brezhnev. Some of the Middle Eastern Leaders include Yasser Arafat and the Saudi Arabian royal family. There are also training clips of the Syrian Military.




Jordan King: “Assad Must Step Down”




Jordan's king has become the first Arab leader to openly say Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should stand down.

King Abdullah told the BBC that if he were in Mr Assad's position, he would make sure "whoever comes behind me has the ability to change the status quo".

He urged President Assad to begin talks on an orderly transition of power.

Many Arab leaders have condemned the crackdown on months of protests in Syria. Dozens of deaths are reported in the latest unrest on Monday.

Both the Saudi and Qatari ambassadors left Damascus in protest at the repression. The Arab League voted on Saturday to suspend Syria's membership.


However King Abdullah went further than other Arab leaders in his exclusive interview withBBC World News television.

"If Bashar has the interest of his country [at heart] he would step down, but he would also create an ability to reach out and start a new phase of Syrian political life," he said.

"That's the only way I would see it work and I don't think people are asking that question," he added.

King Abdullah warned there would be "more of the same" if whoever replaced President Assad did not change the status quo.




Jordan, which borders Syria, has been increasingly critical of the crackdown on anti-government protesters. Many Western powers have urged President Assad to stand down.

Both the EU and the US have said he has lost legitimacy but have ruled out military intervention.
The European Union on Monday tightened sanctions on Syria.

EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels added 18 Syrian officials to a list of people affected by a travel ban and asset freeze. 

The ministers also approved moves to prevent Syria getting funds from the European Investment Bank. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said he hoped the UN would finally impose its own sanctions on Syria. Russia and China last month vetoed a Western-sponsored resolution condemning Damascus.

Earlier on Monday, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem reacted defiantlyto the Arab League's suspension. He said the decision was illegal and vowed to overcome "conspiracies" against Damascus.

The Arab League is set to hold another meeting to discuss Syria on Wednesday. 
Russia on Monday condemned the suspension. "Someone really does not want the Syrians to agree among themselves," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Moscow. In the latest violence, the Local Co-ordination Committees - a network of opponents to President Assad's rule - said 40 people had been killed on Monday, including 20 in the restive southern province of Deraa.

There are also reports that about 20 members of the security forces were killed in a clash with defectors from the Syrian army. Such claims are impossible to verify as the Syrian government has severely restricted access for foreign journalists.

The UN says more than 3,500 people have died since the start of the protests in March while the Syrian authorities blame the violence on terrorists.

Related Blog:

Jordan's King Warns: 'No one has any idea what to do about Syria'

Other Related Blogs on Jordan:

Jordan's King Abdullah II Names International Judge As New Prime Minister 

Jordan’s King Abdullah Welcomes Reform Plans Amidst Regional Unrest

Jordan's King Abdullah II announces sweeping reforms

UP CLOSE & PERSONAL: Jordan's King Abdullah II takes You on a Royal Tour

AXIS OF COOPERATION: Egypt, Jordan and Iran working with US in 1950s

STUBBORN WALLS:Ben Gurion, Hussein, Nasser interviews on ME Peace Process


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Turkish PM: Syria's Assad risks death

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Turkish PM: Syria's Assad risks death (CNN)


Istanbul (CNN) -- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a stern warning to Syria's president Tuesday, saying that he risks facing the same fate as Libya's slain Moammar Gadhafi if he does not step down.

Erdogan condemned President Bashar al-Assad for remarks he reportedly made over the weekend that he would fight to the death to resist foreign forces, saying al-Assad was battling his own people.

"For God's sake, who are you fighting against?" Erdogan said, in remarks to party members in the Turkish capital, Ankara.

"To fight against your own people 'til you die is not heroism; it is cowardice. If you want to see someone who has fought until death against his own people, just look at Nazi Germany, just look at Hitler, at Mussolini, at Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania. 

"If you cannot draw any lessons from these, then look at the Libyan leader who pointed weapons against his own people, used the same terms you use and who was killed just 32 days ago in a way that none of us wished 

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Syria 'must change' says Turkey's president Abdullah Gul

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Syria 'must change' says Turkey (bbc VIDEO)



The Turkish president has said his country will not remain indifferent to Syria's crisis and will support the demands of the Syrian people.

Speaking to the BBC, Abdullah Gul said that "fundamental reforms" were needed in Syria.

He said Turkey no longer trusted its former ally, Syria's President Bashar al-Assad.

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The Syrian authorities blame the violence on armed gangs and militants. 

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Turkish pilgrims' bus 'attacked in Syria'

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Turkish bus 'attacked in Syria' (bbc)


A bus carrying Turkish pilgrims has come under attack in northern Syria, Turkish media and officials say.

At least two people, one of them the bus driver, were injured in the attack near the flashpoint city of Homs, reports say.

The passengers were returning from the Hajj - the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia - reports say.

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Arab League rejects Syrian demand to change peace plan

by Darius Kadivar on


The Arab League has rejected a demand by Syria to alter its plan for ending the country's conflict, which has reportedly left at least 3,500 dead.                



Arab League rejects Syria demand (bbc)   


Despite accusing the Arab League of bias and of acting as a stalking horse for the Western powers, the Syrian foreign minister did not close the door on the Arab initiative.

He said Damascus would reply with a list of queries before deciding whether to sign a protocol allowing the pan-Arab body to deploy observers in the country.

In its statement a few hours earlier, the league ruled out proposed Syrian changes, which it said would radically alter the nature of the mission. But it reiterated its own commitment to resolving the Syrian crisis within an Arab framework. So in theory a last-minute deal cannot be ruled out.

But time is running short. The League announced that an emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers would be held in Cairo on Thursday to follow up on Syria.

If Damascus cannot find a way of complying seriously with the Arab initiative by then, it could face tougher sanctions from the League - and renewed pressure for hostile moves at the UN Security Council. 

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Syria's Assad defies 'pressure'

by Darius Kadivar on

Syria's Assad defies 'pressure' 


Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has said his country will not bow down to "pressure" and predicted its bloody conflict would continue.

Speaking to the UK's Sunday Times, he said the unity and stability of Syria were at stake. 

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Dear DK

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Thank you for the explanation of Syria. I admit to not knowing a whole lot about it. Maybe I should educate myself a bit.

By the way:

Someone has to remind the Russian FM that if it were not for the Free World and Reagan who had to courage of standing beside the Russians they would have never set themselves free
of Soviet Tyranny.

I think many Russians long for the Soviet days. When Russia was king and powerful. I know more than one who admits to preferring Soviet days. I even know East Germans who were happy. One told me: we did little work and got basics of living. There were no conflicts between ethnic groups. No one dared to step out of line. If your expectations are low and have no ambitions then it works!That is the reason the ex KGB boss Putin is so popular. They want someone to crack some heads.


Esfand Aashena

Darius jaan I agree. Good comment.

by Esfand Aashena on

Everything is sacred

Darius Kadivar

Rea Jan I agree

by Darius Kadivar on

The situation is far more dangerous than meets the eye and the challenges facing the region at this juncture are far more complex than anyone can imagine or control be it by a good willing yet improvised Transitional Council. Let's not forget that in case of Libya the members of the current Transitional council are former Aparatchiks of the Gaddafi regime and from a purely practical point of view they have been realists ready to compose with Opponents living in Exile.

In syria it's an entirely different beef. The country is not united as in Libya by a common slogan (and Flag). They are extremely divided ethnically but also in their demands.

That said the Assad Regime has lost total credibility in the eyes of the population. We truly don't know at this stage where this will lead.


But I don't like the Russian stance for their use of the word "Civil War" for it is as dubious and cynical as their attitude towards the calls for democracy and freedom in the entire Region.

Someone has to remind the Russian FM that if it were not for the Free World and Reagan who had to courage of standing beside the Russians they would have never set themselves free of Soviet Tyranny.

Their attitude be it towards Libyans and today towards the Syrian population is disgusting to say the least.


I even suspect that the "Civil War" Argument is a convenient pretext for not just Russia but the Western World to consider arming the different factions so that it could eventually lead to a prolonged conflict like Lebanon or the Iran Iraq war just to Boost their own Crumbling economies.


History often has proven that a Good War has always benefited societies in economic and moral crisis. Let's not forget that WWII was actually what helped America come out of the Depression. 

I'm afraid that the powers sitting idle to watch the events unfold may actually be happy with the turn of events not to benefit the region but their own economic interests.

Who is to blame them ? If the reverse was true so would the people in the region.

Politics is never about Good Vs Bad it's about Opportunity vs Lack of Opportunity.

It can go hand in hand with the interests of the people as it seems to be the case for the Libyans but it can also go against the interests of the entire region. However we would like and sincerely hope to see the opposite outcome. 


As the French would say: 

"Le Malheur Des Uns Fait le Bonheur Des Autres"  


I sincerely hope I am wrong cause a prolonged civil war would spread like an explosion triggered by nitroglycerine across this highly volatile region.


But I think Assad's behavior has doomed any chances of reconciliation and in the shoes of Syrians I personally wouldn't trust him anymore.

However the Power Vacuum which will naturally result after his eventual downfall will be very difficult to fill in.

Only time will say if the dark and gloomy prospect awaits the Syrians and beyond them the people in the entire region or on the contrary that it may trigger off a positive and constructive dynamic of democratization.




Esfand Aashena

Ethnic differences is the devil in details.

by Esfand Aashena on

Rea ethnic differences that evolve into ethnic "hatred" causes the rise and falls of empires, it seems.

In Syria the subject of this blog there are various ethnic populations, "diversity" as you called it.  It is within this context that the brutalized majority that is ruled by the minority (Assad) is taking up arms and standing up to decades of repression. 

3500 killed and counting and they're still standing up.  Many in the minority are ever more scared and resorting to more violence in order to keep their existence in power.  What do you think will happen to this ethnic group once the oppressed majority come to power? 

Same with Iraq and Saddam.  Unfortunately they'll be blind to "diversity" but I'm always hopeful when the repression leaves, people will eventually choose peace over war.

As far as Iran the prospect of "civil war" is not present since Iran is 90%+ Shiite.  But foreign intervention is possible and worrisome. 

Everything is sacred

Esfand Aashena

Massive demonstration in Cairo's Tahrir Square

by Esfand Aashena on

Massive demonstration in Cairo's Tahrir Square 

Crap starting to hit the fan in Egypt already!  Looks like the miltary who "saved" the country wants to be exempt from public scrutiny and do whatever they want. 

Everything is sacred



by Rea on

In 1991 I still believed in "unity in diversity". So, at the time I left New Zealand, Yugoslavia was still what I'd called my country. I was badly mistaken, it seems.

Peace, you say? Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, far from sorted out. In about 50 yrs time they will draw up new borders. I'm glad I won't be around.

I can only hope Syrians love their country more than my peoples' loved theirs. And unless you, Iranians, are not carefull, it will happen to you as well.

Esfand Aashena

Rea do you mean in the old Yugoslavia or Croatia?

by Esfand Aashena on

I am always suspicious of "opposition from abroad" too.  Iraq with Chalabi and company was one such opposition which put Iraq into what it is today.

I didn't know about Yugoslavia or Croatian "opposition from abroad".  What happened there?  Was there a Croatian Ahmad Chalabi, if so who was/is he?

The old Yugoslav countries now seem in peace, are they not?  Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Tunis remain to be seen. 

Everything is sacred


Hope, DK

by Rea on

They can find common ground.

Syria is a delicate country where a sense of national unity and identity can easily be lost along ethno-religious lines.


Opposition from abroad

by Rea on

We hear that the Syrian National Council (inevitably brings to mind another council, the Libyan one) is mainly composed of Syrians living abroad.

Now, how representative are these people, some haven't been back for decades, of the Syrians in Syria? And what are they doing in Paris n London now that going got really tough? 

I saw them do more harm than good in my own country. While those of us who genuinely believed in something went back at the very beginning of hostilities and straight into the field, the vultures came later, when it was all over. Straight into ministries and positions of power. 

So, to this day I remain suspicious of the "opposition from abroad" cheering for armed rebelion while comfortably waiting it out.

Disclaimer. Nothing to do with ICom, simply, my personal experience.

Darius Kadivar

Syria 'to accept' League mission

by Darius Kadivar on

Syria 'to accept' League mission (bbc)


Syria has decided to accept an Arab League mission to observe the implementation of peace proposals aimed at ending violence, a Syrian diplomatic source has told the BBC.

The source, who wished to remain unnamed, said Damascus had already informed the League of the decision.

The source said a few adjustments were being worked out, but "they were not designed to hinder the mission".

The League on Wednesday gave Syria three days to agree or face sanctions.

The Arab League plan, drawn up earlier this month, calls on Syria to withdraw tanks from restive cities, cease its attacks on protesters and engage in dialogue with the opposition within two weeks. 


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad agreed to the plan, but failed to honour it.

More than 370 people have been killed since then, say rights groups, in what appears to be the bloodiest month in the eight-month uprising. 


Russians are the last I normally trust

by Rea on

..... but what Lavrov is saying about a civil war may not be far from truth.

What was initially a civil unrest against a rigid despot is turning into a civil war. IMHO, may be better for Syria to have Assad stay in power and undertake reforms rather than become a large scale Bosnia.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Assad in ***?

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


If the world powers decide Assad is on his way out that is it. Specially if China gives up on him then he is toast. Why do these dictators hold so dearly to power.

How about a bit of interest in nation and people they represent.

But no he has to hold on to power until they drag him out. Just as Ghaddafi. They never learn. Make the people mad; kill a ton of them and then get the result. 

Darius Kadivar

'Mass detentions and beatings' in Hama, Syria

by Darius Kadivar on

'Mass detentions and beatings' in Hama (AUDIO BBC)    

Syrian forces are reported to be continuing house to house raids in a region where army defectors attacked a checkpoint on Wednesday.

The operation in Hama took place as international pressure grew on Syria over its violent suppression of anti-government protests.

China, Turkey, Russia, and the EU's foreign policy chief have all expressed their concerns during the day. The Arab League has ordered President Assad to end the violence by Saturday or face economic sanctions.

Simon Collis, the UK Ambassador to Syria, said it was impossible to compare the systematic violence of President Assad's regime and the response of the protesters. 

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Should Syria's Assad be referred to Intl. Criminal Court ?

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Should Syria's Assad be referred to ICC? (Cnn)


Editor's note: Robert C. Johansen is senior fellow and professor of political science and peace studies at the University of Notre Dame's Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

Notre Dame, Indiana (CNN) -- The crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Syria has resulted in at least 3,500 deaths. The United Nations Security Council should immediately request that all charges of crimes against humanity in Syria be referred to the International Criminal Court. 

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Iran is next

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


The war will be next in Iran after Syria goes and Assad is dead. A large number of Iranian high ups are unhappy. They rather IRI goes and Iran becomes a "normal" dictatorship. 

Winners will be: 

  • Iranian people both inside and outside.
  • Palestinians - they may benefit IRI not wreck peace!
  • West and Israel.

Losers may be

  • Islam and Islamic an-tellectuals which will be likely in the *** hole in Iran.
  • Hizbollah
  • IRI paid agents in the West.

Darius Kadivar

Syria conflict 'like civil war' Say's Russian FM Sergei Lavrov

by Darius Kadivar on

Syria conflict 'like civil war' (bbc)



Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the situation in Syria resembles civil war, after defecting soldiers attacked a government base.




Darius Kadivar

'Thousands' of Syrian soldiers defect

by Darius Kadivar on

'Thousands' of Syrian soldiers defect (VIDEO BBC)



There are reports from Syria that a group of army defectors has attacked a military base near Damascus.

If confirmed it would be most high-profile attack by what is becoming known as the Free Syrian Army, since the anti-government protests began.

The man leading the group has spoken to the BBC and claimed that 15,000 soldiers have switched sides so far.

Jeremy Bowen reports. 

Darius Kadivar

France recalls ambassador to Syria

by Darius Kadivar on

France recalls ambassador to Syria (France 24)


France's ambassador to Syria, Eric Chevallier, was ordered home by Paris Wednesday in the wake of recent attacks against diplomatic missions and the ongoing crackdown by the Syrian regime, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé said.


Darius Kadivar

Syrians pelt Kingdom of Morocco's embassy with eggs, stones

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Syrians pelt Kingdom of Morocco's embassy with eggs, stones


Pro-Assad protesters hurl rocks at Moroccan embassy in Damascus after Rabat hosts controversial Arab League meeting


The ambassador, Mohammed Khassasi, told AFP that between 100 and 150 demonstrators had attacked the building and stripped it of its flag.

Moroccan Foreign Minister Taib Fassi Fihri condemned the attack, the latest diplomatic mission to be targeted in Syria.

"I condemn the violence against the Moroccan embassy in Syria... and what is happening inside and outside the Arab embassies," he said.

Foreign ministers of the 22-member bloc gathered in Rabat on Wednesday to discuss measures against Syria, after having voted last weekend to suspend the country's membership for failing to implement an Arab peace plan.


Darius Kadivar

Arab League sets Syria ultimatum

by Darius Kadivar on

Arab League sets Syria ultimatum (bbc)


The Arab League says it is giving Syria three days to "stop the bloody repression" of protesters and allow in observers or face economic sanctions


Darius Kadivar

Turkey backs Arab calls on Syria

by Darius Kadivar on

Turkey backs Arab calls on Syria (bbc)



The Arab League and Turkey call for "urgent steps" to protect Syrian civilians, hours after rebel troops reportedly attack a military base near Damascus.


Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Dear Rea

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


I am watching Syria and you are  right things are out of hand. Assad may be gone before very long one way or another. 

I have reconsidered this and now am very happy Turkey is making this statement. On one hand it rings hollow given their record.

But this does have these benefits:

  • Reminds Assad not to expect support from Turkey.
  • Put Turkey in a bind to respect its own minorities.

Both are good developments so good for them. 



by Rea on

No country has a perfectly clean record when it comes to minorities.

Things are getting out of control in Syria with chances of a dreadful civil war increasing daily. So if a few strongly worded statements can make Assad rethink and come to the negotiating table before all hell breaks loose in the region, then they serve their purpose.

Also. I suppose that the two statements, the one of Erdogan and now that of Davutoglu, are Turkey reasserting its position as one of the major players in the Middle East.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


I am all for the rights of people in Syria to freely demonstrate. But Turkey is hardly a nation to lecture Syria. How do they treat Kurds and Armenians. 


Turkey's getting more & more upset

by Rea on

"The Syrian regime is going to pay very dearly for what it has done," Davutoglu told journalists in Rabat, where Arab League ministers are to discuss sanctions against the Damascus regime.