Bangladesh removes ‘except Israel’ from new passport


Bangladesh is advancing towards economic prosperity under the magnanimous leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and emerging as a role model to the international community. It also has been vigorously confronting radical Islamic militancy since Sheikh Hasina came to power in 2009. Meanwhile, this country of 170 million Bangalee population has been adopting series of excellent new policies with the goal of further strengthening Bangladesh’s image to the international community. According to latest information, Bangladesh government in its recently issued e-passports has removed the words “except Israel” thus making it eligible for travelling into any country in the world. Earlier, Bangladeshi passports had words stating it is valid for “All countries of the world, except Israel”. Now that has gone. Earlier, despite not having any diplomatic relations with Taiwan, Bangladesh had removed “except Taiwan” from the passport making it eligible for using to travel to Taiwan. Accordingly, Bangladesh’s economic interactions with Taiwan has significantly increased. It is believed, with the newly issued passports, Bangladesh nationals will have no legal bar in vising Israel, which will open a new vista of cooperation between the two countries.

According to local media sources newly issued e-passports, after Eid ul Fitr, no longer feature the sentence “THIS PASSPORT IS VALID FOR ALL COUNTRIES FOR THE WORLD EXCEPT ISRAEL”. Instead, the passports now state “THIS PASSPORT IS VALID FOR ALL COUNTRIES FOR THE WORLD”. Since Bangladesh’s independence in 1971, Bangladesh has not recognized Israel, despite Israel being one of the first four countries to recognize Bangladesh. Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan has confirmed that the passports will no longer feature any restrictions on travel to Israel, as per the international standard. However, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has said that although Bangladesh still does not recognize Israel, the passport-issuing authority is vested in the Ministry of Home Affairs, and whatever the passport states is entirely the jurisdiction of Home Ministry.

Also read: Palestine opposed to Bangladesh’s war of independence – termed Bengali freedom fighters as “terrorists”

It may be mentioned here that, Israel has established relations with a number of Muslim nations in the Middle East, including the United Arab Emirates. Already economic and technological cooperation between Israel and those nations have started.

For the citizen of Bangladesh, with the new prospect of visiting Israel using the newly issued passports, it will open the prospect of cooperation in technological, economic and other sectors. Especially Bangladesh can benefit from using Israel’s highly-advanced medical and scientific sectors. Bangladesh already has plans advancing its IT sector under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s vision of turning Bangladesh into a developed nation. Cooperation with Israel would mean a significant boost in this sector. Moreover, Israel also will release oral insulin for diabetic patients soon once the human trial phase is over. Bangladesh, with its large diabetic population, will certainly benefit from this oral insulin. Bangladesh-Israel cooperation will open new channels for massive boost in Bangladesh’s health sector.

Bangladesh has maintained a foreign policy of ‘Friendship to all, malice to none’, which has now been reflected once again with the latest decision of removing any restriction for its citizens from traveling to any country of the world.

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