The United States has received messages from members of the Syrian government who "want a way out" of the current brutal fighting, a senior U.S official said today.
The State Department official told reporters on a conference call that "there are elements inside the regime itself, among its supporters, that are anxious to find a peaceful solution, and we've gotten plenty of messages from people inside, they want a way out".
The U.S official said he hoped the talks would provide "an impetus to finding a way forward ".
He was speaking ahead of planned peace talks aimed at bringing together the Syrian government and the opposition for the first time.
The talks were in disarray Monday after the United Nations invited Iran to join the peace conference opening Wednesday in the Swiss city of Montreux, and president al-Assad ruled out handing power to the opposition.