UN and Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has begun talks with the Syrian government on a ceasefire.
He met Foreign Minister Walid Muallem in Damascus on Saturday.
The BBC reports Mr Brahimi hopes to secure a truce between the government and rebel forces next week, for the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.
Shelling could be heard in the suburbs of Damascus early on Saturday. Fighting was also reported in the northern town of Harem, on the border with Turkey.