Bangladesh not to recognize Israel until Palestine becomes sovereign country: Dr. Momen

Dhaka:  Bangladesh Foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Thursday said Dhaka would not recognize Israel until Palestine is established as an independent and sovereign country free of any occupation forces.

“As long as Palestine is not established as an independent and sovereign state, we (Dhaka) are beside them and we would not accept any occupation (Israel) army there (Palestine),” he said.

He was speaking at a handover ceremony of the donation of Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industries for the people of Palestine at the state guest house Padma in the capital.

The foreign minister said Bangladesh never recognized Israel though Tel Aviv approached Dhaka for recognition and building bilateral ties on several occasions.

“We largely decided that we would not make any (bilateral) ties with them,” Momen said.

He said Bangladesh believes in two-state solution, the existences of the state of Palestine and state of Israel, as way-out of the decades-long crisis there.

The foreign minister said there is a soul-to-soul relation between the peoples of Bangladesh and Palestine since the time of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Noting that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has already sent 50,000 US dollars to Palestine people, the foreign minister said apart from the government, many private organizations and individuals have been sending donations there.

Earlier, the foreign minister said Bangladesh has not changed its position towards Israel and the foreign policy of Bangladesh remains the same as it was during Bangabandhu’s time.

“Anyone (Bangladeshi citizen) goes to Israel without the government permission that person will be liable to be prosecuted… there has been evidence before,” he said.

During the past eight decades of Israel-Palestine conflict, Bangladesh all along stridently supported the Palestinians’ cause and never recognised the existence of Israel while allowed Palestine to set up its embassy in Dhaka as an independent nation.

Bangladesh condemned the recent atrocities inflicted upon the civilians by the occupation forces of Israel in al-Aqsa mosque compound and at Gaza.

“Bangladesh reiterates its principled position concerning the two-State Solution of the Palestine-Israel conflict in light of the UN resolutions recognizing pre-1967 borders and East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine,” a foreign ministry statement said recently.

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