Ruben Marial Benjamin was the third of four new ambassadors who presented credentials on Wednesday.
History was made in Jerusalem on Wednesday, when Ruben Marial Benjamin, South Sudan’s first ambassador to Israel, presented his credentials to President Reuven Rivlin.
While it is customary for a new envoy to also present the letter recalling his or her predecessor, in Benjamin’s case there was only a letter of credence. Wearing a broad smile, Benjamin said: “I have the honor to present my letter of credence as the first ambassador of South Sudan to Israel.”
South Sudan gained independence from Sudan only in 2011, and is still in the process of establishing diplomatic relations with the nations of the world.
Israel recognized South Sudan on July 10, 2011, a day after it achieved independence, though bilateral relations go back more than 40 years during which time Israel provided agricultural and social development aid through Mashav, the international cooperation division of the Foreign Ministry.
Benjamin was the third of four new ambassadors who presented their credentials on Wednesday.
The other three ambassadors were Feliciano Antonio dos Santos, ambassador of Angola; Nathaniel G. Imperial, ambassador of the Philippines; and Margaret Ann Louise Jobson, the non-resident ambassador of Jamaica.
Dos Santos, who comes from a distinguished military background, arrived in Israel on October 28 and succeeds Jose Joao Manuel, who was Angola’s ambassador to Israel for nearly 15 years.