World Jewish Congress president Ronald S. Lauder met with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday, announced a Palestinian minister.

In a Twitter post, P.A. Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh disclosed the information, though provided no specifics.

The billionaire philanthropist and former U.S. ambassador to Austria went to the West Bank for what the WJC said was “a private visit at Abbas’s invitation to discuss a range of issues regarding Palestine and the Middle East.”

A friend of U.S. President Donald Trump, Lauder did not meet with Abbas on the Trump administration’s behalf but in a private capacity, reported Reuters, citing a source familiar with the matter.

Lauder last met with Abbas a year ago in New York.

Lauder attended the Sept. 15 White House ceremony where the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain each signed agreements to normalize ties with Israel.

Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision

One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.

JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.

Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.