LONDON Feb 5 Prime Minister David Cameron said
on Wednesday he was worried that Syria's efforts to destroy and
hand over its chemical weapons arsenal were behind schedule,
saying London planned to pressure Damascus to get the programme
back on track.
Syria on Wednesday missed a deadline to hand over all the
toxic materials it declared to the world's chemical weapons
watchdog, putting the programme several weeks behind and
jeopardising a final June 30 deadline.
Cameron, who last August lost a parliamentary vote to
authorise British participation in possible air strikes on
Syria, was responding to a question from a senior lawmaker.
Cameron said he shared growing anxiety among British
parliamentarians that the Syrian programme had fallen "so badly
"There do seem to be now indications that the programme is
slowing and that not all the information necessary is
forthcoming," Cameron told parliament.
"Britain will continue to put pressure on all parties to
make sure the chemicals weapons are produced and destroyed."
A diplomatic source said Britain would raise its concerns at
a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Thursday
which will hear an update on the Syrian programme.
Cameron raised his concerns about Syria in a phone call with
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday night.
Alistair Burt, a lawmaker in Cameron's Conservative party
and until October last year a junior minister responsible for
Syrian policy, said stalling by Damascus suggested the chemical
deal had been a ploy to avert military action and buy time.
"No surprise that Syrian regime in strong position -
chemical deal suited them, and allowed killing to go on," he
wrote on the Twitter social media website.
(Reporting by Andrew Osborn and William James; Editing by