AMMAN - Jordan's King Abdullah II on Wednesday warned of a spillover of the Syrian turmoil into the countries it neighbours, saying the risk is "looming closer," in an exclusive interview with AFP.
"I am extremely worried about the risk of a fragmentation of Syria. Over the past few months we have witnessed an increase in sectarian violence," the king said.
"This not only endangers the unity of Syria, but it could also be a prelude to a spillover of the conflict, into neighbouring countries with similar sectarian composition. We have already seen signals that this risk is looming closer.
UN investigators have said that growing numbers of victims of the conflict in Syria are being targeted on account of their religion while gross violations of human rights are occurring on a regular basis.
More than 27,000 people have been killed since the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad broke out in March 2011, according to human rights monitors.
During the interview at his palace, the king called for "a formula for a political transition where all components of Syrian society, including the Alawites, feel that they have a stake in the country's future."
"An inclusive transition process is the only way to stop the escalation in sectarian violence," he said.
"It is in the best interest of the Syrian people, as it would preserve the territorial integrity and unity of Syria, and it is in the best interest of regional stability and the international community."
Jordan is hosting more than 200,000 Syrians who have fled the bloodletting.
"I have been saying all along that the issue is not the individual, but the system. If President Bashar were to leave tomorrow, but the system stayed, then what would the Syrian people have achieved?" the king said.