‘‘We speak of dialogue with those who believe in national dialogue,’’ he said. ‘‘But those who rejected dialogue in their statements and called for arms and use of weapons, that’s a different issue. They don’t want dialogue.’’
Rebel groups refuse to talk to Assad, saying too many people have died for him to be considered part of the solution.
Violence raged elsewhere in the country on Sunday. Anti-regime activists reported government airstrikes on suburbs east of the capital and the northern province of Aleppo.
Airstrikes on the town of al-Safira, south of Aleppo, killed 13 people, including a mother and five daughters from one family, a local activist named Hussein said via Skype. He gave only his first name for fear of retribution.
The town lies next to a large military complex with factories and artillery and air defense bases. Hussein guessed the airstrike was payback for recent rebel attacks on the complex.
‘‘The strikes don’t hit the fighters at all,’’ he said. ‘‘They want to take revenge on the civilians.’’
The Observatory said at least 10 rebels and an unknown number of government troops were killed in clashes in Afreen, near Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, as rebels sought to storm an army base there.
Anti-regime activists say more than 40,000 people have been killed since Syria’s crisis began in March 2011.
Associated Press writer Albert Aji contributed reporting from Damascus.