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Turkey's Prime Minister Calls On Syrian President Assad To Step Down


Bashar Ja'afari, Syria's ambassador to the UN
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reiterated his call for Syria's leader to step down and put an end to the bloody repression against protesters.

Erdogan speaking at a meeting of the ruling AK Party in Ankara, warned President Bashar al-Assad that he should learn his lesson from the violent demise of other dictators:

"If you want to see somebody who has fought against his own people until death, look at Nazi Germany, look at Hitler, Mussolini, Romania's Nicolae Ceausescu," he said.

"If you don't draw lessons from these, then look at the Libyan leader who was killed just 32 days ago after pointing guns at his own people and using the same expressions as you."

Erdogan's call came ahead of an expected vote on a UN draft resolution condemning President Bashar al-Assad regime's eight-month crackdown on protesters.

Germany submitted the draft to the UN General Assembly's human rights committee, and the draft is likely to be approved today, ahead of a vote in the General Assembly in December.

The UN estimates that more than 3,500 people have been killed since the Syrian regime's crackdown on protesters began in March.

Syria's ambassador to the United Nations denounced the draft UN resolution. Bashar Ja'afari on November 21 called the draft a "declaration of war" against the Assad regime and accused European nations -- including Britain, France, and Germany -- of suffering from "Syria-phobia."

He added that the resolution was introduced "in the context of declaring a political and media and diplomatic war" on Syria.

The draft has some 60 co-sponsors, including five Arab states -- Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Morocco, and Bahrain -- as well as Syria's neighbor Turkey, which has recently escalated its criticism of the Syrian regime.

compiled from agency reports

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