Israel and South Sudan
Israel is one of the first nations to officially recognize South Sudan. Though, Israel does not have any relations with Khartoum (Sudan), it established full diplomatic relations with South Sudan shortly after the Independence of South Sudan. Israel recognizes South Sudan as an independent country from July 10, 2011, one day after its independence.
Salva Kiir's first visit to Israel
South Sudan President Salva Kiir visited Israel on November 19, 2011. This is President Kiir's first visit to Israel. He will make talks with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top officials. Though the visit is for just one day, President Salva Kiir is expected to meet Israel President Shimon Peres, Defence Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. The President will not make any public remarks and the visit was said to be of low-key.
In March 2012, South Sudan said that it plans to establish an embassy in Jerusalem. On 23 March 2012 Israeli ambassador Dan Shaham met with the vice president of South Sudan Riek Machar and discussed issues pertaining to the bilateral cooperation between the two countries. The following issues were discussed:
- Support by the Israeli government to South Sudan
- Status of about 1500 South Sudanese people residing in Israel
- South Sudanese refugees in Israel will be trained in various skills by Israel
- Establishing a Hebrew language school in Juba
- Pilgrimage to the Holy Land by South Sudanese Christian leaders
- Ongoing disarmament of civil populations in Jonglei state
- May 9, 2012: President Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit received the credential about Haim Koren appointed as the Israeli Ambassador to South Sudan.
- February 1, 2012: Israel's interior ministry says that South Sudan refugees living in the country should leave within two months or face deportation. Those who leave voluntarily before March will be given $1,300 and a plane ticket. After march, the refugees living in the country would be deported.
- July 28, 2011: Minister of Information, Barnaba Marial Benjamin confirms that the nation has established full diplomatic relations with Israel. The President of South Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit received an official communication from Israel confirming this. The two countries will open their embassies in Juba and Tel Aviv at ambassadorial levels shortly.
- July 22, 2011: Many Israeli companies, Solel Boneh Overseas Company, Superlock, Fujicom Israel, Golan Heights amongst others are considering business with South Sudan.
- July 15, 2011: Vice-President Riek Machar said,
- 'Therefore we will have relations with all the Arab and Muslim countries and even with Israel...'
- 'As a matter of fact, we look forward to playing a role in solving the existing issues in