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Saudi prince backs letting women drive

Published April 14, 2013 10:02 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia • Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has indicated support of allowing women there to drive.

He says that would help the kingdom's campaign to cut down on the number of foreign workers.

Saudi Arabia follows an ultraconservative interpretation of Islam and bans women from driving.

"The question of allowing women to drive in Saudi Arabia will save more than 500,000 jobs in addition to the social and economic benefits," the prince wrote Sunday on his Twitter account.

Thousands of foreign workers have been fired from their jobs and then deported, part of a government campaign against foreigners who illegally reside and work in the kingdom.

Last week King Abdullah gave workers three months to try to legalize their presence. There are more than 8 million foreign workers in Saudi Arabia.