Bangladesh lifts ban on travel to Israel

Bangladesh has reportedly lifted its travel ban to Israel in an unexpected move welcomed by the Foreign Ministry’s Deputy Director General for Asia and the Pacific Gilad Cohen on Saturday.Passports for Bangladeshi citizens, up until now, have had a caveat written on the document stating that the document was valid in “all countries of the world, except Israel.”Despite having no formal diplomatic ties with Israel, Bangladesh’s home affairs minister Asaduzzaman Khan confirmed to the Bangladesh-based the Weekly Blitz that newly issued passports will no longer explicitly single out Israel on official travel documents, opening up the possibility for Bangladeshi citizens to legally travel to the Jewish State upon renewal of their passports.Bangladeshi citizens who have traveled to or attempted to travel to Israel in the past have been arrested and charged with high treason, or threatened with that fate if they ever stepped on Bangladeshi soil again.This was the fate of journalist Salah Choudhury, the editor of the Weekly Blitz, who attempted to travel to Israel in 2003 to attend a writer’s seminar in Tel Aviv. He was subsequently imprisoned and charged with treason, sedition and blasphemy.Cohen lauded the move and called for the two governments to work towards establishing formal ties, as Israel has done with other Muslim countries in the past year such as the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan, in normalization deals brokered by the United States.”Great news! #Bangladesh has removed travel ban to Israel. This is a welcome step & I call on the Bangladeshi government to move forward and establish diplomatic ties with #Israel so both our peoples could benefit & prosper,” Cohen tweeted.

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