GERMANY’S defence minister has sparked fury in Saudi Arabia after she willingly refused to wear a hijab during an official visit to the Kingdom.
According to an Iranian newspaper, Von der Leyen said: “No woman in my delegation will be required to wear the abaya, as the right to choose one’s attire is a right shared by men and women equally.”
Shortly after her meeting with the Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al Saud, Saudis took to twitter to express their disdain for her actions.
Der Leyen wore a dark blue suit while donning the traditional ghutrah head covering.
Michael Ohnmacht, a German Embassy official, quickly tried to change the focus on the debate.
He said: “The talks between Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed and the German minister focused on ways and means to beef up Saudi German cooperation in different areas, including high-level exchanges, personally education and training, defence, mutual visits and security affairs."