Israel and South Sudan establish diplomatic relations

Israel has officially established diplomatic relations with the fledgling state of South Sudan.

The Jewish State was one of the first countries to welcome South Sudan after it declared independence on July 9, while there were jubilant scenes among the Sudanese refugee population of Tel Aviv.

Now the relationship between Israel and the United Nations' 193rd member has been formalised. In practical terms, this will mean the exchange of ambassadors.

An Israeli delegation has already visited government officials in Juba, the South Sudanese capital, while Israeli aid groups have offered help to the desperately poor nation.

Earlier this month Israel's ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, vowed Israel would stand by South Sudan and extend a hand of cooperation.

"Israel salutes your courage and wishes you peace and prosperity on your new journey," he said.

Last updated: 2:09pm, July 28 2011