Saudi Arabia will get its first woman ambassador in Riyadh with the appointment of a female envoy from Belgium, according to reports in the Belgian media.
Belgium will send Dominique Mineur, currently its ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, to Riyadh next summer, making her the first woman ambassador in the Saudi capital, news agency Reuters reported.
The Saudi government has announced a raft of reforms recently, including allowing women to drive cars, trucks and ride motorcycles next year, after being the only country in the world that banned women from being on the road.
Mineur’s appointment, in addition to reports that Belgium will also send a female ambassador to Tehran, has not been officially announced by the ministry of foreign affairs.
However, in a speech in Brussels on Monday, Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said the decision to appoint female envoys to places like Tehran and Riyadh, “should have been obvious”.
“(It) is further evidence of the stakes of women’s rights in these countries, but above all of our willingness to send the most competent people to positions that are increasingly important on the international scene,” said Reynders.