Britain wants evidence proposal for Syrian weapons is not delaying tactic

British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (not pictured) hold a joint news conference at the Pentagon in Washington, May 2, 2013. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain wants evidence to show that a Russian-backed proposal for putting President Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons under international control is not a delaying tactic, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond told Reuters on Tuesday.

"We are in favor of anything that resolves for the longer term the problem of this massive stockpile of chemical weapons the Syrians have got," Hammond said. "History teaches us to be wary of anything which might simply be a delaying tactic."

"We will need very rapid, very clear evidence that this is a genuine, good-faith proposal and that it can go somewhere, not an alternative to addressing an international community response to the actions which took place on August 21," he said on the sidelines of a defense conference in London.

(Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith, writing by Guy Faulconbridge, editing by Stephen Addison)