“Russia and the Arab League say they want to broker direct talks between the Syrian government and opposition in a bid to end the country’s civil war.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said violence was “a road to nowhere”.
The move comes as the opposition Syrian National Coalition is due to begin a two-day meeting in Egypt to discuss a framework for a possible solution.
Some 70,000 people have died since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011, the UN says.
The BBC’s Jim Muir in Cairo says although the Syrian government and the opposition are talking about dialogue, that still seems a distant prospect.
Mr Lavrov said the Kremlin and the Arab League wanted to establish direct contact between the Syrian government and the opposition.