Tony Blair warns of problems in post-Assad Syria


Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair says the West must do all it can to persuade Syria President Bashar Assad to step down because it will probably be difficult to form a new government in the deeply divided country.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Blair said of Syria's civil war, "the sooner it ends the sooner the slaughter will end and also the sooner you can try and repair what will now be deep, deep hatreds amongst parts of the community there."

The Middle East Quartet's envoy said today "when you lift the lid off ... (a) dictatorship, and try to move it towards democracy, then you've got to be prepared to manage a lot of religious and tribal and ethnic problems that are going to be very acute."