BERLIN: German defence minister has caused outrage in Saudi Arabia after she refused to wear a hijab during an official visit.
Ursula von der Leyen and her team did not wear the traditional veil which is worn by women or the full length Abaya garment even though she has claimed to ‘respect’ the country’s customs.
Her decision not to wear a hijab during her meeting with the Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al Saud, was not met warmly by Saudi’s who took to Twitter to express their anger.
One translated Tweet read: “The German Defence Minister: not wearing the hijab in Saudi was deliberate. This is an insult to Saudi Arabia.”
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 the right shared by men and women equally.”
The news comes after German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, called for a ban on the burqa in Germany. Speaking at a party conference last week, Merkel said threw her weight behind calls to outlaw the burqa and niqab wherever “possible”.