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Former Syrian VP Calls for Assad's Overthrow


Syria's former vice president has called for the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad's regime, saying it is corrupt and incapable of reform.

Speaking from self-imposed exile in Paris, Abdul Halim Khaddam said in interviews with French, Arab and Western media that Mr. Assad must go. But he cautioned that change must come from within Syria and not from external pressure.

Mr. Khaddam, who for many years was also Syria's top official in Lebanon, said he would meet soon with the United Nations commission investigating the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

A U.N. report has implicated top Syrian officials in Mr. Hariri's killing, but Syria has denied any involvement. Mr. Khaddam said if Syria was involved, then Mr. Assad was as well.

Last Saturday, Syria's parliament denounced Mr. Khaddam and charged him with treason for similar accusations he made in an interview on Arab television.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.

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