Kofi Annan, the UN-Arab League envoy on Syria, will meet President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus today and talk with opposition leaders outside of the conflict-stricken country.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon said Annan's first trip to Damascus since being named as the international envoy will last about 24 hours.
Annan, Ban's predecessor as UN secretary general, will leave Damascus tomorrow and then visit other countries in the region.
The schedule has not yet been decided though diplomatic sources in Ankara said Annan's first stop from Damascus would be Turkey.
The UN says that well over 7,500 people have died in the year-old crackdown which has seen an intensive assault by government forces on protest cities such as Homs.