In a response to a Damascus car bomb that killed 13 on Sunday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told an international mediator that the key to ending the country's civil war is to stop arming rebel forces.
According the report from Reuters, the bomb exploded outside of a police station in the dominantly Christian Bab Touma district of the capital. The explosion took place at the same time as Assad held talks with the United Nations-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who is pushing for a temporary ceasefire due to the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha.
Syrian news agency SANA reported that Assad said that he supported "any sincere effort to find a political solution to the crisis, based on respect for Syrian sovereignty and rejecting foreign intervention."
The Syrian conflict has escalated from peaceful protests for reform to a civil war with heavy artillery and air bombings. Syrian authorities blame neighboring Turkey for the escalation because it has supported and sheltered the fighting rebels.
Activists say that since the uprising against President Assad began last March, 30,000 people have been killed. According to Brahimi, many of the opposition figures and rebel fighters are responding to a ceasefire positively for the Eid al-Adha. The United States, Iran, and Turkey have all called for both sides to observe the ceasefire.
A previous ceasefire in April failed after just several days, with each side blaming the other.