Palestinian President Abbas meets World Jewish Congress head in Ramallah

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder in the West Bank on Saturday, a Palestinian minister said, following a call by Lauder for Palestinians to revive peace talks with Israel.

Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh revealed the meeting in a Twitter posting but gave no details.

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Lauder, a US businessman who also met Abbas a year ago in New York, attended the September 15 White House signing ceremony of an agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to forge formal ties.

He told Saudi newspaper Arab News on September 16 that he hoped the accord would bring the Palestinians back to peace talks with Israel, which collapsed in 2014.

The Palestinians have cut off diplomatic ties with the Trump administration, which they have long accused of pro-Israel bias, and spurned the Gulf states’ diplomatic moves toward Israel.

A Palestinian official told Reuters on condition of anonymity that Lauder was not carrying a message from the White House.

A second Palestinian source said Abbas discussed the call he made at the United Nations last month for a UN-led peace conference early next year.

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