International envoy Kofi Annan has said he and Syria's president have agreed on an "approach" to end the country's conflict that will be put to the rebels.
"We discussed the need to end the violence and ways and means of doing so. We agreed an approach which I will share with the armed opposition," he told reporters after meeting Bashar al Assad in Damascus.
Stepping up political efforts to halt the carnage which monitors say has cost more than 17,000 lives, the UN-Arab League envoy is reportedly travelling on to Iran, Syria's close ally.
The former UN chief said he had a "constructive" meeting with Mr Assad, on his third mission to discuss the six-point peace plan for Syria since he was appointed in February.
"President Assad reassured me of the government's commitment to the six-point plan which, of course, we should move ahead to implement in a much better fashion than has been the situation so far," Mr Annan said.
Sky's defence and security editor Sam Kiley said these latest talks "do not change anything" and Mr Annan's six-point plan had "gone nowhere so far".
He added a degree of diplomatic pressure was beginning to be felt in Damascus but there has been no change on the ground yet.
Earlier, Mr Assad accused the US of backing "terrorists" in his country.
He gave a rare TV interview in which he said Washington was moving to destabilise Syria by giving political support to "those gangs".
Between 14,000 and 16,000 people - most of them civilians - have been left dead after 16 months of anti-government upheaval, according to activists.
Mr Assad, who has faced repeated calls from the international community to step down and end the bloodshed, also dismissed comparisons between him and the ousted leaders of Libya and Egypt, whose downfalls were spurred on by uprisings last year.
"It's a completely different situation," said Mr Assad, who also brushed off a question about whether he feared for his family, including his wife and three children.
The 46-year-old, who has ruled Syria since taking over from his father in 2000, said the US was fuelling the uprising and Washington - rather than his own security forces - ultimately bore responsibility for the deaths of innocent civilians.
He said "supporters of the government, the victims from the security and the army" far outnumber those among civilians, and that an opposition made up of terrorists, gangs, "a mixture, an amalgam of al Qaeda (and) other extremists" was responsible for the violence.
When asked directly about the killing of more than 100 civilians in the Syrian village of Houla in May, he blamed it on gangs who "came in hundreds from outside the city".
The massacre caused an international outcry, and UN investigators have since concluded that Syrian government troops could be behind the killings.
Mr Assad was speaking as his troops staged a show of force with military exercises to simulate defending the country against outside "aggression".