The Samaria Regional Council on Wednesday hosted former Romanian President Emil Constantinescu, along with the former Foreign Minister of Bulgaria and chairman of the UN Security Council in 2002-2003, Solomon Passy. The two were given a tour of Jewish communities in Samaria by Samaria Council Chairman Gershon Mesika and his deputy, Yossi Dagan.
The tour was one of several that have been given to foreign VIPs by the Council. The effort is headed by Shai Atias of the Council's foreign affairs department.
During the tour, Constantinescu and Passy met with activists from Jewish towns and Arab villages, hearing their opinion on coexistence between the various groups in the region, In addition, the group visited the Barkan industrial zone, where they were impressed with how the principles of coexistence have been brought to life, a Council spokesperson said.
Constantinescu said that he was opposed to boycotts in general, and was opposed to movements in Europe that sought to boycott products manufactured in Judea and Samaria. In fact, he said, it was important to support the businesses in Judea and Samaria, in order to enable the many Arabs that worl in the businesses and factories there to continue to improve their financial standing.
Passy invited the Council to join the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria, a non-governmental organization that he heads that seeks to expand the values of the European Union. In that way, he said, businesses in Judea and Samaria will be able to avoid being boycotted by anti-Israel groups. Passy presented his idea to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, with whom he later met.
Speaking after the tour, Mesika said that “the European Union's boycott of businesses in Judea and Samaria is absurd, because it damages more than anyone the many Arab families who earn a good living in the factories and businesses here. Every visitor we bring here understands this. We were happy to host these important visitors, and we would be very happy to work with them in the future,” he added.