Netanyahu speaks with South Sudan President Salva Kiir

July 13, 2011 22:53


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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who recognized the new state of South Sudan Sunday, a day after it declared independence, spoke with its President Salva Kiir Wednesday evening and offered the fledgling country Israel's assistance and know-how.

"We know how hard it is to start from a beginning without basic infrastructure," Netanyahu said, according to a statement issued from his office.

"We have knowledge and much experience on this issue. We helped many African countries with infrastructure, communications and agricultural development, and would be happy to help you in any way."

Kiir was quoted in October as saying that he did not rule out the establishment of "good relations" with Israel, including the opening of an Israeli embassy in Juba, the country's capital. He was also quoted as saying at the time that Israel "is the enemy of the Palestinians only, and not an enemy of the South." He also hinted at the time of recognition of Israel.

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