Blinken says 'gaps are narrowing' in talks toward Gaza ceasefire deal

U.S. Secretary Blinken meets Argentina's FM Mondino in Buenos Aires

By Humeyra Pamuk

CAIRO (Reuters) -U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday the "the gaps are narrowing" in talks in Doha toward an agreement on the release of hostages and a ceasefire in Israel's conflict with Hamas in Gaza.

“Negotiators continue to work. The gaps are narrowing, and we're continuing to push for an agreement in Doha," Blinken said at a news conference in Cairo. "There’s still difficult work to get there. But I continue to believe it's possible.”

“We've closed the gaps, but there are still gaps," he added.

Ahead of visiting Israel on Friday, Blinken said he agreed with Arab foreign minister in Cairo to gather experts in the coming days "to identify the urgent, practical and concrete steps that can and should be taken to increase the flow of assistance."

"Israel needs to do more" on humanitarian aid, Blinken added.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, David Ljunggren and Simon Lewis; Editing by Chris Reese and Franklin Paul)