Dhaka/Jerusalem: Bangladesh has announced to lift a decades-long travel ban to Israel, a move welcomed by the Jewish state which called upon Dhaka to establish diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv for the benefit of the people of the two countries.
Bangladeshi passports earlier had a clause written on them that said “This Passport is valid for all countries of the world except Israel”, but the government on Saturday decided to remove “except Israel” from the document making it valid for the entire world. Israel has welcomed Bangladesh’s decision to remove the travel ban.
“Great news! #Bangladesh has removed the travel ban to Israel. 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,” Deputy Director General at Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Gilad Cohen tweeted.
Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal says they are bringing the changes to ensure that the passports meet the “international standards”. In the Israel-Palestine conflict of eight decades, Bangladesh has all along stridently supported the Palestinians’ cause. It has never recognised the existence of Israel, and so the two countries do not have diplomatic relations.
Kamal said that the move “does not mean that there has been a change in Bangladesh’s position” regarding Israel. Israel has normalised its ties with the Muslim-majority UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan between September and December of 2020.