Jerusalem: Israel and the newly independent country of South Sudan have established diplomatic relations, the foreign ministry said on Thursday.
"The cooperation between the states will be based on the firm foundations that guide them in forming friendly ties, out of equality and mutual respect," Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in a statement.
The Jewish state does not have relations with Khartoum, which it has accused of serving as a base for Islamic militants, and has instead supported the rebel movement of the mainly Christian and animist south in its decades of struggle against the government in the mostly Muslim north.
The practical aspects of the new relationship, including the appointment of ambassadors, would be discussed in the near future, the statement noted.
The South Sudanese government made a parallel announcement in the capital, Juba, to a delegation of Israeli diplomats in the city, the ministry said.
Two weeks ago, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held talks by phone with South Sudan President Salva Kiir, offering Israeli help in the areas of infrastructure, development and agriculture.
Israel had formally recognised the world`s newest nation a few days prior to the conversation.