DAMASCUS, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- Peter Ford, former Britain's ambassador to Syria, said Sunday that the return of relations between Syria and Europe is a matter of time, noting that it is about time for Syria to return to the Arab League.
Ford made the remarks in a phone interview with the pan-Arab al-Mayadeen TV aired Sunday, during which he commented on the gradual return of the Syrian-Arab relations following the recent reopening of the embassies of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in Damascus after years of closure.
"We will witness the return of the British and French ambassadors to Damascus possibly next year," Ford told al-Mayadeen TV.
He added that the "European return to Syria will be without conditions."
Ford said that it's about time to restore normal relations with Syria, adding that the time is ripe now for Syria to return to the Arab League, following years of suspension of its membership.
He stressed that "there is no benefit in continuing the Arab enmity toward Syria and the Arab countries realize this conviction."
As for Saudi Arabia, which is one of the main rebels' backers, Ford said that the kingdom has taken a decision a while ago about the gradual normalization of relations with Syria.
He noted that Qatar, which obviously opposes the return of Syria to the Arab League, could change its mind after failing to topple the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad through supporting the rebels.