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Saudi Arabia is ‘not ready’ for women drivers, says deputy crown prince

The deputy crown prince has previously appeared to express support for more women working


Saudi Arabia is not yet ready to end the world’s only ban on women driving cars.

Despite moves towards rights for women under King Abdullah before his death, deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud has said the Saudi community “is not convinced about women driving”.

The 30-year-old prince, who has amassed increasing powers since his father King Salman came to the throne, said the topic was not about Islam but about cultural norms.

“Women driving is not a religious issue as much as it is an issue that relates to the community itself that either accepts it or refuses it,” he said, according to local media reports.

The defence minister and favourite son of the current king, who is suffering from dementia, has been accused of influencing Saudi policy from the wings since his father came to the throne last January.

The German intelligence agency BND published a memoir which said the prince’s concentration of power into his own hands “harbours a latent risk that in seeking to establish himself in the line of succession in his father’s


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