25 March 2012

South Sudan: Country Discusses Bilateral Relations With the State of Israel

Photo: Christian Aid/Mike Goldwater
A UNHCR transit camp on the outskirts of Juba (file photo).

press release

Juba — South Sudan and Israel on Friday discussed bilateral relations and cooperation in the wake of the publicly declared diplomatic relations after the independence of South Sudan.

South Sudan said it will establish its embassy in Jerusalem, the Holy city, instead of Tel Aviv, the political capital, following the recent visit of the President, Salva Kiir Mayardit, to the Jewish state.

On Friday the visiting Israeli Ambassador, Dan Shaham, met with the Vice President of the Republic, Riek Machar, and discussed issues pertaining to the bilateral cooperation between the two friendly states.

The issues included the support the Israeli government would provide to the new state as well as the status of some 1,500 South Sudanese currently residing in Israel as economic migrants.

On the South Sudanese refugees in Israel the diplomat assured of his government's effort to train them in various skills in order to make them self-reliant once they return to South Sudan.

Machar also stressed the importance of establishing a special school for Hebrew language in the South Sudan's capital to facilitate learning of those who had been to Israel as well as others who would want to learn the language for competitive purposes.

They also discussed the plans of pilgrimage to the Holy Land by South Sudanese Christian leaders.

The Vice President and the Israeli diplomat also discussed the ongoing disarmament of civil populations in Jonglei state. They also touched on the situation in the Middle East, particularly with the current violent events in Syria.

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