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Bangladesh travel ban to Israel remained unchanged: FM

Rtv news
|  24 May 2021, 08:40
Bangladesh travel ban to Israel remained unchanged: FM
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Bangladesh has introduced new e-passports for its citizens, scrapping the words “except Israel” saying, the change was made only to follow “international standards” while the travel ban to that country remained unchanged.

“The changes have been made to maintain global standards,” foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told newsmen but added that it “does not mean that there has been a change in Bangladesh’s position” regarding Israel.

The foreign ministry in a subsequent statement said the newly issued passports would not allow either its holders to travel to the world’s lone Jewish country as speculated by some media.

“The ban on travel of Bangladeshi passport holders to Israel remains unchanged,” it read.

But the changes in new Bangladeshi passports immediately drew Tel Aviv’s response that urged Dhaka to establish bilateral diplomatic ties for the “benefit and prosper” of the people of the two countries.

“Great news! Bangladesh has removed travel ban to Israel,” Israeli foreign ministry’s deputy director general for Asia and the Pacific Gilad Cohen said in a tweet.

He added: “This is a welcome step & I call on the Bangladeshi government to move forward and establish diplomatic ties with Israel so both our peoples could benefit & prosper.”

But the Bangladesh foreign ministry said the tweet drew its attention while “the confusion appears to have emanated from the new booklets of E-passports which does not contain the observation ‘all countries excepting Israel'”.

“The removal of the observation has been done to maintain international standard of Bangladeshi e-passports and does not imply any change of Bangladesh’s foreign policy towards the Middle East,” it said.

The statement said “Bangladesh has not deviated from its position on Israel and Bangladesh remains firm on its longstanding position in this regard”.

It reminded all that Bangladesh condemned “the recent atrocities inflicted upon the civilians by the occupation forces of Israel in al-Aqsa mosque compound and at Gaza”.

“Bangladesh reiterates its principled position concerning the two-State Solution of the Palestine-Israel conflict in light of the UN resolutions recognizing pre-1967 borders and East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine,” it read further.

Dhaka does not recognize Israel and all along threw its support for Independent Palestine.

Until May this year Bangladesh used to issue passport with a declaration that the travel document was “valid for all countries of the world except Israel” but updated e-passports read “This passport is valid for all countries of the world”.

During the past eight decades of Israel-Palestine conflict Bangladesh all along stridently supported the Palestinians’ cause and never recognised the existence of Israel while allowed Palestine to set up its embassy in Dhaka as an independent nation.

Israel, however, was one of the first nations to recognize the independent Bangladesh in February 1972 after its emergence in 1971 as an independent country following a nine-month long war against Pakistan.

Dhaka at that time rejected the recognition saying this recognition was not acceptable.

Source: BSS

AH

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