The U.N.'s deputy secretary-general says U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon made a strong appeal to Syria's foreign minister to stop using heavy weapons against civilians and reduce the violence that is killing 100 to 200 people every day.

Jan Eliasson told reporters Tuesday that Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem "listened very carefully" to Ban during their meeting Monday "and promised to take this back to the leadership in Syria."

Eliasson said the U.N. wants to see the Syrian government take the first step in reducing violence followed by a similar reduction in violence by the opposition.

He said this would "enhance the chances of political movement."

Eliasson said U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi will be based in Cairo from next week and should have the "central role" in peace efforts.