Kerry refuses to support Saudi women’s rights

Kerry refuses to support Saudi women’s rights
Tue Nov 5, 2013 12:04:50

US Secretary of State John Kerry has refused to recognize Saudi women’s right to drive vehicles in the ultra-conservative kingdom.

In a sudden change of the US approach, Kerry said on Monday it was up to Saudi Arabia to decide when the time was right to allow women to drive.

"It's no secret that in the United States of America we embrace equality for everybody regardless of gender, race, or any other qualification," Kerry claimed at a press conference in Riyadh.

"But it's up to Saudi Arabia to make its own decision about its own social structure and other choices, and timing," he added.

Saudi Arabia is still very much split over the question of women driving.

Last week, the United States said it supports the "universal rights" of women to drive in Saudi Arabia, after an October weekend protest there saw several women defy the law by taking the steering wheel.

Kerry visited Saudi Arabia to make amend strained ties with Saudi officials. Riyadh criticized the US policy towards Syria and Iran, and lack of willingness to pursue Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.


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