Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday praised successful independence efforts by South Sudan, saying Israel supports the world's newest state and offering cooperation.
Netanyahu opened the weekly Cabinet meeting by saying that "we would love to cooperate on economic and other issues. Congratulations to South Sudan."
|Celebrating independence in South Sudan|
Interior Minister Eli Yishai was hopeful that South Sudan's independence would help with Israel's refugee problem.
"It's a good thing they got a state. This will minimize infiltrations of Israel and make it easier for us to return infiltrators from Sudan. We will try to arrive at an agreement with them through talks and negotiations," he said.
Meanwhile, Sudanese refugees celebrated in Tel Aviv. "For many years I prayed this would happen," Uzaka, a refugee from what is now South Sudan, told Ynet. "Finally there will be true freedom!"
Uzaka and his friends gazed fondly at TV footage from the new capital, Juba. "I'm very happy," said Abdullah Hussein. "The war was long and without solution, and peace has been our dream. After 20 years of killing, there is no more room for bloodshed."