Saudi Arabia allows women into King Fahd stadium to join national day celebrations

King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh.
Updated 21 September 2017
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Saudi Arabia allows women into King Fahd stadium to join national day celebrations

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has invited women to a sports stadium for the first time to attend annual national day celebrations with their families, state media said Wednesday, opening up a previously male-only venue.
Families will be allowed into the King Fahd stadium in Riyadh, used mostly for football matches, and seated separately from single men to mark the kingdom's 87th National Day this weekend.
"The stadium is ready to receive about 40,000 people divided between individuals and families to be seated separately," the official Saudi Press Agency said in a statement, citing the general authority of entertainment.
This marks a shift from previous celebrations in the kingdom where women are effectively barred from sports arenas by strict rules on segregation of the sexes in public.
This measure represents another step into relaxing some norms as part of its "Vision 2030" plan for economic and social reforms.
In July, rights campaigners welcomed an "overdue" reform by the education ministry to allow girls to take part in sports at state schools.


Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets with Iraqi president Salih

Updated 20 min 46 sec ago
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Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets with Iraqi president Salih

  • The crown prince and president discussed mutual interests, regional as well as bilateral issues
  • Salih’s visit to Riyadh came as part of a Middle East tour

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with Iraqi president Barham Salih on Monday and they discussed mutual interests, regional and bilateral issues, according to Saudi Press Agency.
“During the meeting, they reviewed aspects of the relations between the two brotherly countries and opportunities for their development, in addition to discussing developments in the region and the efforts made toward them,” the SPA statement said.
Salih was received by King Salman on Sunday as part of the president’s visit to the Kingdom, where discussions on ways to enhance cooperation between the two countries were the focus.
Salih’s visit to Riyadh came as part of a Middle East tour, which included visits to Iran, Jordan, Kuwait and the UAE.