Juba: India has become one of the first nations to accord diplomatic recognition to South Sudan, the world`s youngest country which split away from Khartoum-ruled north after decades of brutal war that claimed nearly two million lives.
The recognition was accorded through a letter by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to South Sudan`s new President General Salva Kiir Mayardit, shortly after he assumed power at the
Independence Day function here yesterday.
"On this historic occasion, the government of India extends formal recognition to the independent state of South Sudan," the Prime Minister`s letter said.
The letter was handed over to General Mayardit by India`s ambassador to Sudan AK Pandey, Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs Sanjay Singh told reporters.
Officials accompanying Vice President Hamid Ansari, who attended South Sudan`s independence day function, said that India would soon be appointing its Ambassador in Juba. At
present, India has a Consul General here.
A colourful ceremony, which marked the historic occasion -- the birth of a new nation, was attended among others by Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir and UN chief Ban
South Sudan would hence be the 193rd country to be recognised by the UN and the 54th member state from Africa.
Earlier on Friday, Sudan extended official recognition to South Sudan, calling it an independent state.