July 7, 2011 (WASHINGTON) – The Israeli government intends to recognise South Sudan as an independent state following the official declaration this weekend, a newspaper report said.
War between the Arab and Muslim-dominated north and the largely Christian and South left two million people dead until a 2005 peace agreement, which paved the way for a referendum and eventual secession.
The Ha’aretz daily quoted sources at the Israeli foreign ministry as saying that the Jewish state views positively the recognition of the new state.
This is expected to take place immediately after the United States and European Union countries do so.
The newspaper also revealed that Israel’s foreign ministry appointed a special coordinator to deal with South Sudan several months ago and that they have been exchanging secret messages with the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) for a long time.
It is not clear that Tel Aviv will move to establish full diplomatic relations with Juba following its recognition of South Sudan.
Officials in Southern Sudan in the past have expressed openness to the idea of forging ties with Israel.
North Sudan considers Israel an enemy but said it is up to the South to make a determination on whether it should establish ties with Tel Aviv.
There are about 8,500 asylum seekers from Sudan in Israel today. Nearly 2,000 of them are thought to be from South Sudan.