Israel Announces Full Diplomatic Ties With South Sudan

Delegation from Foreign Ministry visits South Sudan capital of Juba; Interior Minister Yishai calls on Israel to immediately begin negotiations to return thousands of Sudanese refugees who crossed into Israel illegally.

The Foreign Ministry announced Thursday that Israel has established full diplomatic relations with the government of the newly UN-recognized South Sudan.

"The practical aspects of the relations such as accrediting ambassadors will soon be discussed through the diplomatic channels," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
In recent days, an Israeli delegation visited the South Sudan capital of Juba and held talks with senior government officials.

Sudanese in Israel - Daniel Bar-On - July 9, 2011
Daniel Bar-On

Earlier this month, the United Nations has welcomed South Sudan as its 193rd member, just six days after it had declared independence from the Arab-led northern part of Sudan following a decades-old conflict.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Israel's official recognition of South Sudan a week before the UN vote. "We wish it success," Netanyahu said. "It is a peace-seeking country and we would be happy to cooperate with it in order to ensure its development and prosperity."

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Eli Yishai called on Israel to immediately begin negotiations with South Sudan in order to return the thousands of Sudanese refugees and migrant workers who had crossed into Israel illegally in the past several years.