CAIRO - Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Sunday after talks with his counterpart in Cairo that wider international talks to find a political solution to the conflict in Syria had yielded some progress although further consultations were needed.

Differences seem to be increasing between Saudi Arabia's position on Syria and that of Egypt, a close ally. Unlike Saudi Arabia, which backs some Syrian rebel groups, Egypt has welcomed Russian air strikes in Syria against insurgents.

Moscow says Syrian president Bashar al-Assad must be part of any political transition and that the Syrian people will decide who rules them. Washington has said it could tolerate Assad during a short transition period, but that he would then have to then exit the political stage.

In a flurry of diplomatic activity around the Syria crisis, US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Riyadh on Saturday and the two countries agreed to boost support for Syria's moderate opposition while seeking a political resolution to the four-year-old conflict.

At a news conference in Cairo with Egypt's Sameh Shoukry, Jubeir said: "I believe that there has been some progress and positions have moved closer on finding a solution to the Syrian crisis, but I cannot say that we have reached an agreement. We still need more reach this point."

Jubeir gave no details on what positions had shifted or how far but reiterated the long-held Saudi stance that Assad must go, saying Riyadh backed the creation of a transitional ruling body that would write a new constitution and prepare for elections. "There is no role for Bashar al-Assad in the future of Syria," he said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called in an interview broadcast on Saturday for new parliamentary and presidential elections in Syria.

A Russian lawmaker who met Assad on Sunday said the Syrian president was ready to call elections if necessary but his priority was to defeat "terrorists" first.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and King Salman of Saudi Arabia on Saturday called for greater international efforts to restore stability to Syria without President Bashar al-Assad at its helm.

The two countries backed the aim of a "unified, pluralistic and stable country for all Syrians," State Department spokesman John Kirby said. "Both sides noted the importance of mobilizing the international community to support this goal and reiterated the need for a transition away from Assad. "They pledged to continue and intensify support to the moderate Syrian opposition while the political track is being pursued."

An Arab Israeli has crossed into Syria using a paraglider with the apparent goal of joining rebel fighters there, the Israeli army said on Sunday.

"A surveillance post identified an Israeli civilian entering Syrian territory using a paraglider" late on Saturday, an army statement read. "The preliminary review indicates that the civilian that entered is a resident of Jaljulia," an Arab town in central Israel.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Sunday his country must "eradicate terrorism" to find a political solution to its civil war, as he reportedly expressed a willingness to hold new elections.

Meeting a Russian parliamentary delegation as Moscow steps up efforts for a political deal, Assad emphasised the need for greater security.

"The eradication of terrorist organisations will lead to the political solution that Syria and Russia seek and that will satisfy the Syrian people and preserve Syria's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity," state news agency SANA quoted Assad as saying.

The visit by Russian lawmakers came days after Assad's own surprise trip to Moscow for talks with President Vladimir Putin.