Prominent Syrian liberal poet and writer Adonis urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, but called on the opposition to adopt a strict secular ideology, in comments published Friday.
"President Assad should do something. If I were in his place, I would leave the presidency," Adonis said in an interview with Kuwait's Al-Rai newspaper.
"The least he can do is to resign from his post," the Beirut-based secular intellectual said.
Adonis, whose given name is Ali Ahmed Said, is a member of Assad's Alawite minority. The poet has been criticised by Syrian and Arab writers for not taking a clear position on the bloody crackdown on Syrian protesters.
However, he criticised the opposition for being fragmented and dominated by religious groups, adding the appropriate solution for Syria is to establish a civil state where religion and politics are separated.