The Syrian government says it is prepared to agree to a ceasefire with rebel forces in a northern city and has asked Russia to facilitate it.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Mou'allem also told a news conference in Moscow that Damascus is ready to offer a prisoner exchange with rebels.
The minister said he had asked Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, to arrange a suspension of hostilities in Syria's largest city of Aleppo. It is the first time the government in Damascus has taken such a step.
The moves came as the opposition Syrian National Coalition meets in Istanbul to decide whether to go to next week's peace conference.
The coalition is under Western pressure to participate in the Geneva II talks but many of its members have already pulled out, the BBC reports.
Some are reluctant to go unless President Bashar al-Assad is excluded from any transitional government, but Damascus says there should be no pre-conditions for the talks.
Meanwhile Lebanese security officials said rockets fired from Syria had hit the Lebanese border town of Arsal, killing at least seven people, among them several children.