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Posted on on August 9th, 2011
by Pincas Jawetz (

Israel and South Sudan formally establish ties.

From the papers in Israel – Israel and South Sudan formally established diplomatic relations on Thursday, some two weeks after the new country declared independence from Sudan, a radical Islamic state and one of the most hostile countries to Israel in Africa.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced the establishment of
ties, issuing a statement saying “the cooperation between the two
countries will be based on solid foundations, relations of equality
and mutual respect.”

A parallel announcement was made in Juba, the new country’s capital,
where the president of the new country, Salva Kiir, met with Jacques
Revach, head of the Foreign Ministry’s Africa division, and Dan
Shacham, Israel’s nonresident ambassador to a number of African

The nature of the relations, including the appointment of ambassadors,
will be discussed in the coming days, the Foreign Ministry said in a

Just three days after South Sudan declared independence on July 9,
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke to Kiir and said Israel would
be happy to help the fledgling country in “any way.”

Israel recognized the new country on July 10, 2011.

A number of revelers in Juba celebrating independence waved Israeli
flags, a gesture interpreted by some as a sign of gratitude to Israel
for support during years of struggle against the north.

About 8,000 Sudanese migrants, many of them from South Sudan, are believed to be in Israel. One of the first topics of discussion between the two countries is likely to be the repatriation of many of these refuge-seekers.


We wonder now how will the Israeli Foreign Ministry handle the topic of 8,000 Sudanese refugees living now in Israel.

Many of these Sudanese are from Darfur, some from South Sudan, some of these having learned their way to Israel from stories of Israel having air lifted Ethiopian Jews via Sudan.

We think Israel has now the chance of working some of the Sudanese into an army of Ambassadors to Africa. Israel will need the expertease  of these people – their knowledge of the area and the languages. We hope that what was meant is not an expulsion in form of repatriation – but rather the development of a joint interest with people that have learned also the better side of life in Israel.

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