Riyadh: German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in Saudi Arabia on Sunday without wearing a headscarf. She is in the country for talks with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
[blurb]Women in kingdom are supposed to adhere to a strict dress code in public, including full-length robes and covering the hair with cloth.[/blurb]
Merkel was greeted by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and other officials upon her arrival at Jeddah on Sunday, IANS reported.
The 62-year-old like other female Western visitors did not cover her hair upon arrival in the conservative Islamic kingdom.
[blurb]British Prime Minister Theresa May also avoided the strict dress code for women when she visited the country. May had said that she hoped to be an inspiration to oppressed women in Saudi Arabia.[/blurb]
Merkel followed the footsteps of May, Hillary Clinton and former First Lady of the US Michelle Obama.
Merkel has called for the burqa to be banned in Germany, saying it was "not acceptable in our county".
"It should be banned, wherever it is legally possible."
The German parliament last week voted for a draft law banning women working in the civil service, judiciary and military from wearing full-face veils.
[blurb]Burqas and niqabs will be prohibited in select professions as part of the legislation, once approved by the Bundesrat state parliament.[/blurb]
The German leader is expected to press Gulf leaders to do more to take in refugees and provide humanitarian relief for those fleeing conflict in Muslim-majority countries.
(With IANS inputs)