Medical supplies handed over to envoy for Palestinians
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday warned of action as per the immigration law if anyone tries to go to Israel from Bangladesh as it still does not recognize Israel.
“We remain very strong [on legal ground]. Everybody knows it. Our immigration will stop them immediately. Immigration will control those things and they do. They’ve been doing it for years,” he told reporters, adding that it is the Home Ministry that ensures the enforcement of the law.
The foreign minister made the remarks while responding to questions from reporters after the handover of donation of pharmaceutical products for the people of Palestine to its Ambassador to Bangladesh Yousef SY Ramadan at state guesthouse Padma. Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen was also present.
The foreign minister received medicines worth Tk40 lakh from Beacon Pharmaceuticals Ltd Managing Director Md Ebadul Karim at the program in the presence of Palestine Ambassador Ramadan.
The medical supplies will be sent for the people of Palestine through Jordan.
Dr Momen said Bangladesh has not changed its position on Israel at all, and no one from Bangladesh can visit Israel.
“If anyone goes there, the person will be liable to be prosecuted. There has been evidence before,” said the foreign minister, adding that the government never gave permission to anybody to visit Israel.
He said there is confusion as they created a new e-passport six to seven months ago omitting “except Israel” to maintain its standard. “Passport is an identity and it isn’t related to foreign policy.”
The foreign minister said the foreign policy of Bangladesh remains the same as it was during Bangabandhu’s time. “We don’t recognize Israel.”
On Tuesday, Dr Momen expressed displeasure over the comments made by Palestinian Ambassador to Bangladesh Yousef SY Ramadan, terming them totally irrelevant.
“This is irrelevant to me, totally irrelevant,” he told reporters, venting anger when his comment was sought on the Palestine ambassador’s comment regarding removal of the words “except Israel” from Bangladeshi e-passports.
Dr Momen said Bangladesh maintains its foreign policy in its own way and it is totally irrelevant which Ambassador says what.
The foreign minister said there will be more donations as Bangladesh handed over medicine worth Tk40 lakh on Wednesday.
“It [more donations] has been approved. We’ll send that soon. There’ll be plenty from us as Palestine is our old friend,” Dr Momen said.
The Palestinian ambassador thanked the government of Bangladesh for expressing solidarity and support. “People in Palestine appreciate your help, support and donation very much.”
While talking to a small group of journalists at the embassy on Monday, the Palestinian ambassador appreciated the generosity of Bangladeshis, including expatriate Bangladeshis in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain.
“You have such an amazing principle. We don’t compare you with anyone. I’m saying that from my heart. It’s not lip service. It’s true. You’re magnificent people. We’ll never forget your support, solidarity and principled attitude,” he said.