Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki said on Sunday he hoped the bloodshed in Syria could be stopped under a similar scenario to the one which saw Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh relinquish power.
"I hope we will find a political solution akin to that in Yemen -- that is to say, the departure of an unwanted dictator and a transition," he said during a visit to Algiers.
After months of bloody clashes between security forces and pro-democracy protestors, Saleh, who came to power in 1978, signed a deal in Saudi Arabia that effectively ends his reign but protects him from prosecution.
"The primary role of a state is to protect its citizens. When it starts killing its citizens... it loses all legitimacy," Marzouki said.
Tunisia, whose own democratic revolution last year inspired the protests in Yemen and Syria, decided days ago to expel Damascus' ambassador, a move promptly reciprocated by Syria.