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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Belgium becomes first country to send female ambassador to Saudi Arabia 

Dominique Mineur is currently ambassador to the UAE

Belgium will be the first country to send a female ambassador to serve in Saudi Arabia, according to the country's public broadcaster.

Dominique Mineur will move to Riyadh next summer from Abu Dhabi, VRT reported.

She currently serves as ambassador to the UAE.

The move comes at a time of significant economic and legal change in the Kingdom, including granting women the right to drive, the opening of cinemas and hosting of live entertainment.

A foreign ministry source was quoted by De Tijd newspaper as saying that the move was "a clear signal".

The Middle East is a major source of business for Belgium, which counts petroleum processing, pharmaceuticals and the export of precious gems, including diamonds, among its biggest industries.

In 2014, trade between Brussels and the UAE topped $7.74 billion (Dh28.2 bn), and that year the country was the UAE's 11th most important trading partner.

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