DAMASCUS, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Syrian militants on Wednesday released 48 kidnapped Iranians in exchange for 2,130 prisoners held by the Syrian government.
The released Iranians, whom Tehran said were pilgrims, were held by Syrian militants in Damascus in August 2012.
Details of the prisoners released by the Syrian government are still murky, as some say they were civilian activists while others say those were rebels.
Meanwhile, Russian and U.S. diplomats would discuss the Syrian crisis with UN-Arab League special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi in Geneva later this week, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said Wednesday.
Brahimi said during his last trip to Moscow that there was still a chance of a political settlement despite the escalating tensions in Syria and growing civilian casualties.
As many as 10 people were killed and 50 others injured in a latest car bomb attack in a suburb of Damascus on Wednesday evening.
According to UN estimates, more than 60,000 people have been killed in Syria since the unrest erupted in early 2011.
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehion are expected to discuss the Syrian crisis on Thursday despite the different positions between Egypt and Iran regarding the issue.
Iran supports Assad and calls for peaceful resolution for the ongoing conflict in Syria, while Egypt believes that "there is no place for the regime of Assad in new Syria," as Morsi said in a speech in late December 2012. Yet both countries agree on rejecting any foreign military intervention in Syria.
On Sunday, Assad proposed a three-point political solution, which incorporates a cease-fire, followed by a comprehensive national dialogue conference and the establishment of a broad-based government and parliament.
The proposal was rejected by the opposition, which said Assad had sidestepped a point the opposition deemed crucial: to relinquish power. The United States and its allies also dismissed Assad's speech as "disconnected from reality."
The Syrian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday urged the United Nations to review and support the political roadmap of Assad, saying Assad's political plan "reflects the precise understanding of the nature of the transitional phase and the ideas that have been put forth at all levels starting from combating terrorism till achieving a political plurality in the country."
Earlier on Wednesday, the Syrian cabinet endorsed Assad's three-point plan and assigned the Foreign Ministry to establish regional and international liaisons to explain the political program and garner support for it.