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Netanyahu announces Israeli recognition of South Sudan

10.07.2011 10:03  | 

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday announced Israel's recognition of South Sudan, which declared its independence on Saturday.
"Yesterday, a new state was born, South Sudan. I hereby announce that Israel recognizes the Republic of South Sudan," Netanyahu said during the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. "We wish it success. This is a peace-seeking country and we would be pleased to cooperate with it in order to ensure its development and its prosperity."
During the meeting, Interior Minister Eli Yishai said the creation of South Sudan will make it easier on Israel to send back Sudanese refugees, and that the government should hold diplomatic talks with the new country over the issue.
Tens of thousands of South Sudanese danced and cheered as their new country formally declared its independence on Saturday.
The independence of the state capped a hard-won separation from the north that also plunged the fractured region into a new period of uncertainty.
Israel has reportedly already established contact with government authorities in Sudan and has cooperated on issues relating to agriculture, economics and security.
South Sudan President Salva Kiir was quoted in October as saying that he did not rule out the establishment of “good relations” with Israel, including the opening of an Israeli Embassy in Juba, the country’s capital. He was also quoted as saying that Israel “is the enemy of the Palestinians only, and not an enemy of the South.” He hinted at the time of recognition of Israel.
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