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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Tuesday, January 23, 2018

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German Defense Minister Refusing to Wear Hijab Causes Saudi Outrage

Bundeswehr to train Saudi army officers

Share on Facebook December 21, 2016, Reporter : sputniknews/ DW, Reader : 461

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Controversy arose after German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen and her entourage refused to wear hijab head coverings or the full length abaya garment while visiting Riyadh last week.

Von der Leyen said that she "respect[s] the customs and traditions of the country," but added that, "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," according to Iran Front Page.

Read more: https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201612141048524684-german-defense-minister-refuses-hijab/

Her announcement came days after German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a ban on the burqa head covering in Germany.

Germany is about to strike a deal to train Saudi Arabian officers. While the Defense Ministry says such programs are completely normal, it also admits that the Middle Eastern monarchy remains a "difficult" partner reports DW.

Germany is expanding its military cooperation with the Saudi regime, despite the country's involvement in conflicts across the Middle East. The German Defense Ministry confirmed on Wednesday that Saudi Arabian officers would be traveling to Germany to be trained by the Bundeswehr - a deal would be signed in the coming weeks, news agency DPA reported.

Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen was on her first visit to Riyadh on Thursday to hold talks with the Sunni kingdom and finalize the agreement, which would involve between three and five officers taking part in training programs every year.

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