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Bangladesh drops ‘except Israel’ from passport citing global practice

Bangladesh drops ‘except Israel’ from passport citing global practice

Eastern Times  Correspondent, Dhaka, 23 June: Bangladesh is issuing new e-passports removing words “except Israel” from the line – “This passport is valid for all countries of the world except Israel”.

However, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal denied any diplomatic relations with Israel as Bangladesh has not recognised the country yet.

AK Abdul Momen told, ‘There has been no change in Bangladesh’s position towards Israel as it still does not recognise Israel. Removing the words ‘except Israel’ in the new passport does not mean that there has been a change in Bangladesh’s position.’

‘No passport in the world contains such words which are why the changes have been made,’ he said adding, “Passport is a national identity and it does not reflect foreign policy.’

Upon being asked about the issue, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told bdnews that the rumor found ground after some changes were made to e-passports in order to ensure its ‘international standards’.

‘We are fixed on our stance,’ he said adding, ‘Bangladesh will not change its foreign policy until the Palestine-Israel issue is resolved.’

Earlier, every Bangladeshi passport had a common provision mentioned on its first page saying “This Passport Is Valid for All Countries of The World except Israel”, which has recently changed to ‘This Passport Is Valid for All Countries of The World’.

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