Israel welcomes Bangladesh 'removing travel ban', Dhaka says its much ado about formality

    24-May-2021   
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New Delhi: Israel has welcomed the decision of Bangladesh authorities to 'remove' travel ban to the country and hoped even diplomatic ties would be established soon.
 
"Great news! Bangladesh has removed travel ban to Israel. This is a welcome step and I call on the Bangladeshi government to move forward and establish diplomatic ties with Israel so both our peoples could benefit and prosper," tweeted Deputy Director General for Asia and the Pacific at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Gilad Cohen.
 
The 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”.
 
It is worth mentioning that despite not having any diplomatic relations with Taiwan, Bangladesh had removed “except Taiwan” from the passport making it eligible for travel to Taiwan. Observers say Bangladesh's economic interactions with Taiwan have also improved.
 
Of course, a Muslim-majority country Bangladesh has maintained nothing much must be drawn from the decision of the Bangladesh Home Ministry.
 
Bangladesh foreign minister Dr A K Abdul Momen said country's home ministry studied many passports of other countries when new passports were ordered for Bangladesh.
 
He said no passport in the world contains such words. "The changes have been made to maintain global standards," he clarified.
 
According to reports in 'The Daily Star, a Dhaka-based newspaper, Director General of Department of Immigration and Passport, Major General Md Ayub Chowdhury, also said, the move to delete the phrase "except Israel" has no link with the country's diplomatic relations with any country.
 
From now on, the new electronic passports or e-passports will mention: "This passport is valid for all countries of the world".
He clarified a passport carries someone's identity adding, "Your passport is used for confirmation of your identity when you go abroad. You can travel anywhere only if you have visa of that country".