Danny Danon, Deputy Speaker of Israeli Knesset briefing the press at J-One Presidential palace in Juba after meeting with the president [©Gurtong]
By Waakhe Simon Wudu
JUBA, 30th August 2011 [Gurtong] - An Israel Special Diplomatic Mission arrived in Juba yesterday in an effort to strengthen diplomatic, close political and economic cooperation ties with the new Republic of South Sudan, (RSS).
Led by the Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset Mr. Danny Danon, the mission had an over two hours’ close meeting with President Salva Kiir and other senior South Sudanese government officials.
In a brief statement to the press after the meeting at the Presidential Palace, Danon stressed Israel’s efforts to stimulate development in Agriculture, Mining and construction of roads and bridges in South Sudan.
“We are here to see how we can help South Sudan realize its potential in terms of economic development based on modern technology and agricultural activities,” Danon told the press.
He stressed that, “South Sudanese are our great friends and our government has invited the President of the Republic of South Sudan, H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit to pay a visit to Israel and we also encourage ordinary citizens from South Sudan to visit us too”.
Meanwhile the South Sudanese Minister for Cabinet affairs Deng Alor has expressed enthusiasm on the Israel’s visit, and admitted RSS’s commitment to maintain close ties with Israel.
“The establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and South Sudan has been overwhelmingly welcomed and we shall soon name our Ambassador to Israel,” Deng Alor said.
He added that the mission had discussed a number of issues with senior government officials like close political and economic cooperation.
With the new cabinet announced last Friday, President Kiir will have to tackle economic, security and tribal conflict challenges with joint efforts from the international community.