Saudi Arabia might permit women to vote shortly; Straw urges reform
Saudi Arabia, Politics, 2/24/2005
The Saudi foreign minister Saud al-Faisal announced yesterday that women may be permitted to vote in the next round of municipal elections in the Kingdom.
Al-Faisal said in London, where he had met with his British peer Jack Straw and other officials, that the elections committee in his country had proposed women to take part in the next elections. He added "we will not be surprised if they take this measure in the second round of the elections." The first round of elections was held in Riyadh by the beginning of February and there are still two other rounds in March and April.
Al-Faisal also announced that his country will open during this year the door before women to work in the diplomatic and consulate field.
At the beginning of the meeting, each of al-Faisal and Straw commended each other but they said they have certain differences over certain issues like human rights and democratic reforms in the kingdom.
Straw considered that the challenge for Saudi Arabia is in the way of dealing with the reality of this changing world. He added "without reforms it would be frustrating" for Saudi citizens. The two sides also discussed bilateral relations, developments in the Middle east and the Palestinian question and conditions in Iraq and Lebanon.
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