Saudi Arabia appoints female ambassadors to EU and Finland

Haifa Al Jedea and Nesreen Al Shebel will take office as the kingdom's envoys

Haifa Al Jedea has been appointed the new Saudi ambassador to the EU. Photo: Spa
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Saudi Arabia has appointed two female ambassadors, as authorities move to enhance women's rights and representation in the kingdom.

Haifa Al Jedea and Nesreen Al Shebel began their roles as the kingdom’s envoys to the EU and Finland, respectively, on Tuesday evening.

The two women took the oath of office before King Salman bin Abdulaziz, along with other newly appointed diplomats, at Al Yamamah Palace in Riyadh, state news agency SPA reported.

Ms Al Jedea thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed “for the honourable royal trust in appointing me as the ambassador and head of the European Union mission”.

“I ask God Almighty to help me to serve this dear country,” she wrote on Twitter.

Before becoming ambassador to the EU, Ms Al Jedea was the managing director of SRMG Think, a think tank established by the Saudi Research and Media Group.

The institution's main goal is to provide studies about the Middle East and North Africa in fields including economy, geography and foreign policy.

The kingdom now has five women envoys representing it around the world.

Nesreen Al Shebel is the new Saudi ambassador to Finland. Photo: SPA

The first female to take office as a diplomat was Princess Reema bint Bandar, who became Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the US in 2019.

Before becoming ambassador, the princess was an advocate for women’s rights in the kingdom and worked with the Ministry of Education to include physical education for girls in schools.

In 2014, Forbes Middle East magazine chose Princess Reema as one of the most powerful Arab women in the Middle East.

Authorities have introduced many changes in recent years to promote women's rights. Women can now drive, launch businesses without a guardian’s permission, attend sports matches and enrol in the military.

Updated: January 04, 2023, 1:30 PM