Egypt’s El-Sisi to meet head of World Jewish Congress

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi will meet head of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) Ronald Lauder in Cairo on Sunday, a presidential statement said.
Lauder arrived in Cairo from New York on Sunday for a few hours visit to discuss regional issues including Palestinian-Israeli relations, state news agency MENA reported.

The WJC is an international organisation that represents Jewish communities and organisations in almost a hundred countries.

Egypt has a small Jewish community headed by 62-year-old Magda Haroun.

In December 2014, an Egyptian court banned the controversial annual religious festival of 19th century Jewish Rabbi Yaakov Abuhatzeira, known commonly in Egypt as “Abu Hasira,” set on 9-10 January, over “moral concerns.”

The annual Jewish celebration has often caused civil unrest near his shrine in a Nile Delta village, spurred by locals who refuse to normalise relations with Israel. This is not the first time a court bans the festival.

Lauder was US deputy assistant secretary of defense for European and NATO affairs from 1983 to 1986. He served as head of the Jewish National Fund for 10 years starting 1997. He then became chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organisations in 1999 for two years.

Besides presiding over the WJC, Lauder is also currently a member of a number of global Jewish groups.

According to the presidential statement, El-Sisi is also set to meet Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and Middle East Quartet Special Envoy Tony Blair on Sunday.

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