DAMASCUS, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian government welcomes any step that could be conducive to the return of Arab embassies in Damascus, said Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad.
"We welcome any step that could help in returning the embassies of Arab countries to work in Syria," said Mekdad during an interview with the al-Watan newspaper published on Sunday.
His remarks came in the wake of reports that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) could re-open its embassy in Syria soon after six years of closure.
During the war, many Arab countries suspended their diplomatic representations in Syria, particularly the Gulf states, as such countries have adopted an antagonistic stance toward the administration of President Bashar al-Assad.
As the situation in the country gradually returns to normal with declining battles and much of the country are back under the government control, diplomatic relations seem to be improved with some countries mulling the return of embassies to Syria.
Separately, Mekdad told the newspaper that the Syrian refugees are returning in a systematic manner, noting that the number of those coming from Lebanon is estimated at thousands.
Meanwhile, he accused the Western powers of adopting the double standards policy, saying "they want the refugees to return but they are not encouraging them to return."
Mekdad said the Western countries hold direct responsibility for the economic situation in Syria through the economic sanctions they imposed, which prevent economic progress and development in Syria.