President Barack Obama and fellow Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel discussed the need for a renewed Middle East peace process Tuesday during a private lunch at the White House.
Speaking to reporters afterward, Wiesel said the meeting was a "good kosher lunch" between friends. But he said the conversation did turn serious, as the two Nobel Peace Prize honorees discussed the administration's attempts to break the deadlock in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Obama's meeting with Wiesel, a strong supporter of Israel, comes during a period of strained relations between the United States and Israel. The author said he believes tensions between the two countries are lessening.
"Relations between Israel and the United States have a history, and that history has always been one of understanding," he said.
Wiesel visited the White House last February, when he accepted an award for his work to educate the country about the Holocaust.
Wiesel survived the Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Last June, when Obama visited Germany, Wiesel accompanied the president on a tour of Buchenwald.
Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. Obama received it last year.