Reports that Bangladesh may be the next country to normalize ties with Israel are circulating on Sunday after the country announced that it is removing its travel ban to Israel.
Bangladeshi Minister of Home Affairs Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told reporters on Saturday night that the words: “This passport is valid for all countries for the world except Israel” have been removed from its passports.
The new passports state: “This passport is valid for all countries of the world.”
Bangladesh hasn’t recognized Israel since declaring its independence in 1971. A Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Saturday night that Bangladesh still does not recognize Israel, saying that passports are under the jurisdiction of the Home Affairs Ministry.
Bangladeshi citizens who visited Israel in the past were penalized and even sentenced to prison.
The South Asian country of Bangladesh is the third largest Muslim-majority country n the world and the eighth-most populous country in the world.
“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,” Gilad Cohen, Deputy Director-General for Asia and the Pacific at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote in response to the announcement.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)