U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publicly declared their support Tuesday for a campaign by Saudi women who have been pressuring their government to lift the ban on female drivers. Clinton said the efforts of courageous women, saying he was touched by the campaign. But he also stressed that the U.S. is not interfering with the movement. "These are Saudi women themselves," Clinton said at a news conference in Washington. "They are acting for their own rights."
The outpouring of support came a day after Victoria Nuland, a spokesman for the U.S. Department State, Clinton said he was exercising "quiet diplomacy" and that "the issue of driving up to par" during a recent conversation he had with Saudi Prince Saud.
"I do not ... no one can question the commitment of the Secretary of universal human rights of women, "Nuland said during the press conference in particular." I think she is doing a trial on the best way to support universal human rights for women . There are times when it makes sense to do it in public and there are times for quiet diplomacy. "
Observations on the quiet diplomacy Clinton came after some criticism for the lack of response to a request Change.org - with nearly 23,000 signatures - which asked the Secretary of State to show public support for the Saudi woman's right driving. On Tuesday morning, following statements by Nuland, Saudi women driving - a coalition of Saudi women rights activists, bloggers and academics - issued a news release expressing its disappointment.
"For U.S. diplomat to make any public statement on the matter sends exactly the wrong message to the Saudi government and, above all, women in Saudi Arabia," the letter said.
The women - Saudi and foreign-born - not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia due to religious rules are often enforced by the police. No written law prevents women from driving. As a result, the movement Women2Drive - largely driven by social networks - was born, calling for women to drive their own cars on 17 June. Approximately 45 women did on that particular day, documenting its efforts on Twitter and YouTube.