Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama dined with author and historian Elie Wiesel Tuesday at the White House in what an administration spokesman called a "friendly lunch."
The meeting came a few weeks after Wiesel published a full page ad in the Washington Post and other major newspapers, criticizing the Obama administration for its handling of the Middle East peace process.
Following the lunch, Wiesel told White House reporters he had a "good meeting" with the president and that Obama told him the peace process "must continue." Wiesel said the two men agreed "there is no substitute to peace among nations."
On Monday, the White House said Obama spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for about 20 minutes to discuss the way forward to direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, and to reaffirm his "unshakable" commitment to Israel's security.
Wiesel, whose father died in the Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald, Germany, was also imprisoned there in the final months of World War II in 1945.
He accompanied Obama on a tour of the Buchenwald camp in June 2009. Obama's great-uncle was part of an Army division that liberated the Ohrdruf forced labor camp, a subdivision of Buchenwald.
This is not Wiesel's first visit to the White House this year. In February, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal for his work in educating the world about the Holocaust.
Obama and Wiesel have another historical connection, as recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize. Wiesel received the award in 1986, and Obama traveled to Oslo, Norway, last December as the 2009 recipient.