Bangladesh removes ‘valid for all countries of the world except Israel’ from its passport

Bangladesh's friendly move towards Israel... 'except Israel' removed from new passport

Bangladesh declared on Saturday that its passports will no longer carry the text “valid for all countries of the world except Israel.”

However, the South Asian country claimed that the decision to eliminate those words does not amount to a shift in the country’s position towards Israel, as it still does not recognize Israel.

Bangladesh removes the text 'except Israel' from its passports

The Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, AK Abdul Momen, said the step to eliminate the words “valid in all countries except Israel”, comes in a bid to “maintain international standards.”

On the other hand, the minister said that the words’ removal does not amount to a change in the Muslim country’s stance towards Israel.

“There has been no shift in Bangladesh’s position on Israel as it still does not recognize the country. Eliminating the words ‘except Israel’ in the new passport does not indicate that there has been a change in Bangladesh’s position,” Momen said.

Nevertheless, Israel sees this action as one step closer towards the normalization of ties between the countries.

“Great news! Bangladesh has removed travel ban to Israel,” tweeted Gilad Cohen, the Israeli Foreign Ministry Deputy Director-General for Asia and the Pacific.

“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.”

Earlier this year, a report by Al Jazeera’s Investigation Unit also revealed that Bangladesh acquired surveillance technology manufactured by an Israeli company.

Pakistan is now the last remaining state whose passports read ‘this passport is valid for all countries of the world except Israel.’

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