Sep 10 2013
Proposals for Syria to give up its chemical weapons could represent a "big step forward", but it is for the Russian government and the regime of president Bashar Assad to show that the offer is "serious and genuine", Prime Minister David Cameron's official spokesman said.
The spokesman said that "serious questions" need to be asked about the surprise proposal put forward by Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and immediately backed by Damascus on Monday.
US president Barack Obama has said he will put plans for a military strike against Syria on hold if the country places all of its chemical weapons for destruction under international control.
But Downing Street has cautioned that the Russian initiative must not be allowed to become a "distraction" and said that the UK did not want to see an "endless" process of identifying weapons and verifying their handover into international control.