Egypt's President Says Time Is Up for Assad

Calls for Syria's leader to step down.


Egypt's new Islamist president, preparing to make his debut on the stage of world diplomacy with an initiative over the Syrian crisis, called on Monday for President Bashar Assad's allies to help lever the Syrian leader out of power.

"Now is the time to stop this bloodshed and for the Syrian people to regain their full rights and for this regime that kills its people to disappear from the scene," Mohammed Morsi said in his first interview with an international news organization.

Morsi, 61, propelled to power by the once banned Muslim Brotherhood, was speaking to Reuters before travelling this week to China and Iran, two countries which, along with Russia, have so far opposed Arab and Western calls to end Assad's rule.