The president of the new country of South Sudan, Salva Ki’ir, landed late Monday night at Ben Gurion Airport for his first visit to Israel, which is proposing to help it absorb illegal infiltrators in Israel. He was welcomed by Knesset Member Danny Danon and Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon.
MK Danon was the first Israeli official to visit South Sudan after it seceded from Sudan this summer. He also is leading efforts to solve the problem of tens of thousands illegal immigrants who have infiltrated into Israel from Sudan and Ethiopia, most of them trying to find a higher standard of living in Israel. Few of the infiltrators have been identified as refugees from Darfur.
After MK Danon’s visit, he established the Israeli-South Sudan parliamentary committee.
He has suggested to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that Israel help South Sudan build a retraining center to house and rehabilitate the infiltrators.
“We can find a solution to the problem of illegal Sudanese immigrants through joint efforts,” The Knesset Member said. “The Sudanese people have gone through a revolution to improve their lives by establishing a new and stable country, and the State of Israel must help them rehabilitate by returning the infiltrators to their homes so they can contribute towards building the country.”
The South Sudan Tribune reported Tuesday, "The Jewish state promised to assist South Sudan in areas of infrastructure, communications and agriculture.
Ki’ir is to meet Wednesday with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and President Shimon Peres.
Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon noted that South Sudan serves as a model for the Palestinian Authority by having won United Nations recognition only after succeeding in peace talks with Sudan.
“A country cannot be established only virtually,” Ayalon said.