S.Sudan independence 'day of joy and great hope': Merkel
Germany on Saturday recognized South Sudan's independence with Chancellor Angela Merkel welcoming the move as "a day of joy and great hope for the people" of the world's new country.
"Germany has recognized the new state," Merkel said in a statement.
"We welcome the Republic of South Sudan as a member of the international community of states and we are looking forward to working together," she added.
Merkel said it was now important "to back South Sudan on the road to stability that will bring people peace, security and economic development."
Germany was ready to help in these areas, she said.
South Sudan proclaimed its independence from Sudan earlier Saturday after more than 50 years of conflict, splitting in two what had been Africa's largest country.
© 2011 AFP