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Russian envoy held secret talks with South Sudan officials in Israel: report


December 21, 2010 (KHARTOUM) – A secret meeting was held last week in the Israeli capital Tel Aviv between the Russian envoy to Sudan, Mikhail Margelov, and officials from South Sudan, according to an Israeli media source.

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Russia’s special envoy to Sudan, Mikhail Margelov, at the International ’Global Zero’ Summit Against Nuclear Weapons at Hotel Intercontinental on February 2, 2010 in Paris, France (Getty Images)

The IzRus website, a key Russian-language online outlet based in Israel, reported on 16 December that Margelov had absconded briefly in Tel Aviv, where he was on a six-day official visit, in order to meet representatives of South Sudanese government who were in Israel at the time.

According to the website, which is cited as one of Israel’s five leading Russian-language websites, Margelov skipped an appointment with Israeli foreign ministry officials in the morning of 16 December and went to meet south Sudanese officials.

The website, which is edited by Michael Falkov who previously served between 2003 and 2004 as a media advisor for Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, claimed that the covert meeting was related to the referendum vote on South Sudan independence.

The semi-autonomous region of South Sudan, where the majority of the population follows Christianity and traditional beliefs, is preparing to gain full independence from the largely Muslim-Arab north in a referendum vote set to take place in January, 9 2011.

The plebiscite is the centerpiece of the 2005’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement which ended nearly half a century of intermittent civil war between north and south Sudan.

Margelov, who also heads the Russian Federation Council’s Committee for International Affairs, was named as his country’s special envoy to Sudan in December 2008, and has ever since visited the country on several occasions.

Earlier this year, Margelov draw the ire of southern Sudanese when he warned of the failure of a new state in south Sudan and expressed fears of a new Somalia emerging in the region.

"We as an international community and countries that are permanent Security Council members do not want a new Somalia in South Sudan," he said.

The Russian envoy also supported the re-election of President Al-Bashir in April disputed elections, and opposed legal actions taken by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Al-Bashir.


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  • 22 December 2010 08:21, by Monye Jur

    When will you people, the so called international community or Russia will accept that south Sudan will be able to rule herself alone? Why always your ideas and beliefs supports the unity of Sudan and not independent of south Sudan? Why you people have negative thinking that another Somalia will be emerged in the south Sudan should the south secede? Why you Russians don’t want to understand the reasons why our people fought for since 1950s? The colonization policy of divide and rule and favoritism will never work in the issue of south Sudan. We shall separate and have ties with Israel and other strong nations that are recognizing and respecting out fate.

    repondre message

    • 22 December 2010 09:43, by Kolnyang youth

      yesterday is not like today ,Arabs are fearing about secret meeting russian envoy and South Sudan officials in Israel have pressure Arabs so much not case let them cry and we have no problem let them leave South Sudan in peace .

      Bor town the beginning of liberation struggle

      repondre message

    • 23 December 2010 03:56, by Young Nation

      GOSS Officials in Tel Aviv!

      It is an undisputable fact that all radical Arabs and Islamic Nations and Political parties and religious sects strongly condemn all visits to Israel. The question is: would GOSS visit to Tel Aviv, Israel, irretates Khartoum’s NCP fanatic and fundamentalist government officials? Whatever the the case, let Khartoum ignorant go to hell. Juba has a right to visit any sovreign nation it deems ally just as all governments do.

      SPLM Oyee!
      SPLA Oyee!
      GOSS Oyee!
      Referendum Oyee!
      South Sudan Nation Oyee!

      Young Nation is a Student of BA (International Relations) at The University of Queensland, Australia

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  • 22 December 2010 09:06, by Bol Bol

    I hope this report is true because the National Criminals Party headed by CRIMINAL Albashir is behaving like they have Russia and China in their back pockets. I hope the Southern Sudan leadership is developing some sort of mutual relationship with both Russia and China as well. After all, these two giant countries are two of the 5 permanent members of UN Security Council that regularity found themselve supporting some of the world famous dictators. We must find way to neutralize their political positions especially towards Southern Sudan.

    repondre message

  • 22 December 2010 09:50, by Deng II

    I am very encourage to thank SPLM for engaging in different phase of alternative. We can not be friend with just one country such as USA. What you cannot do in human principles of interest, do not reliable on USA heavily because they cannot be trusted, they can dumping or selling you out any time for their interest. Its very disappointed with USA envoy Grat the way he mediated between North and South Sudan is suck and it was reinforced by Wikileak that USA was about to threaten Kenya not to delivering Tanks/weapons which been captured by pirate to South Sudan and try to threaten Kenya with sanction. You can think that USA envoy is dysfunctional to do job in Sudan, instead I think he enjoy bundle of huge money from Sudan Arab elite including Arab countries elite. The situation in Sudan is too damn dangerous.

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    • 22 December 2010 10:23, by Peter Mading

      Let us hope that South Sudanese officials in Isreal were not deceived in that secret talks.Arabs may influence Russian to go to Isreal to distort the oppinion of Southners.What is so secret with regards to referendum? God knows.

      repondre message

      • 22 December 2010 11:09, by Genuine Leader

        Good move to bring Russia in one shoe .

        repondre message

  • 22 December 2010 16:21, by Nhomlawda

    Mikhail Margelov is a stanch supporter of Al Bashir and he is so mad about South Sudan seperating from North Sudan. It is too late for Russia to stop the euphoria of independence that had engulfed the whole of South Sudan.

    Russia and China had over the years allowed Al Bashir regime to buy planes and sophisticated weapons to destroy SPLA/M and the innocent people of South Sudan and pay a blind eye to the massive suffering of the innocent people of South Sudan under the oppressive SAF but they had all failed miserably. Russia latest attempt to use any mean to stop independence of South Sudan will fail too.

    However, it is said in politics are no permanant enemies and friends and with that principle South Sudan is still open to any country that respects human rights to exist and to enjoy peace, freedom and happiness. We reject countries that are blinded by their own interests without recognizing others interests and needs.
    South Sudan can have diplomatic ties with Russia as along as Russia is willing to respect us and our values.

    repondre message

  • 22 December 2010 17:58, by Tobiin

    the article didn’t even mention why the Russian envoy held the meeting with SPLA officials in Tel Aviv.

    repondre message

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