Libyan leader calls on Syria`s Assad to step down

Mustafa Abdul-Jalil said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should find a peaceful way out of the crisis in his country, which has suffered a violent crackdown by the regime.

Last Updated: Dec 16, 2011, 23:33 PM IST

Warsaw: The chairman of Libya`s National
Transitional Council urged Syria`s President to step down,
saying on Friday that the Syrian people have the right to
determine their own destiny.

Mustafa Abdul-Jalil said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
should find a peaceful way out of the crisis in his country,
which has suffered a violent crackdown by the regime.

"We would like to tell the Syrian regime to step down and
let the Syrian people decide their own destiny," he said
through a translator.

He argued that Assad can always put himself up for
election in a democratic vote to see if his people really want
him.

"If the Syrian people are willing to choose Assad, then
let it be," Abdul-Jalil said at a conference on development in
Warsaw, Poland.

A day earlier, a prosecutor with the International
Criminal Court said there are "serious suspicions" that the
death of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in unclear
circumstances in October was a war crime.

Asked about that, Abdul-Jalil said the NTC was
investigating the matter and "we will be very willing to share
all the findings" with the court in The Hague, Netherlands.

The Libyan leader also called on countries with frozen
Libyan assets to release them so the country can rebuild after
its recent war. He said some of the money would go to job
training for former fighters, many of them recovering from war
injuries.

Some of the billions of dollars in assets being held in
foreign banks are starting to be released, but so far it has
been too little.

He blamed bureaucracy, but added that "there is a
financial crisis in the world and it might be beneficial for
them to keep the money for a while."

PTI