Saudi Arabia Offers Clarification on Incident with US Delegation

Saudi Arabia has addressed a recent incident involving Rabbi Abraham Cooper, who was asked to remove his religious head covering, known as a kippah, before entering Diriyah Gate.

The incident, which took place on March 5, prompted the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) to express concern. Cooper, who was leading a US delegation on religious freedom, refused to comply with the request to remove his head covering, resulting in his denial of entry to the historic site despite prior approval from the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Saudi embassy in Washington released a statement acknowledging the incident, attributing it to a "misunderstanding of internal protocols." According to the embassy, Cooper's denial of entry was a result of this misunderstanding. However, the statement did not elaborate on the specific protocols or how the issue was ultimately resolved. It mentioned that Saudi Ambassador Reema Bandar Al-Saud had discussions with Cooper regarding the incident.

The USCIRF delegation, which also included Reverend Frederick Davie, had planned to visit Diriyah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Despite having prior approval for their visit, the incident led to the delegation cutting short their visit to Saudi Arabia.

Following the USCIRF's public disclosure of the incident, the Saudi embassy sought to clarify the situation, emphasizing that it was an unfortunate misunderstanding. While expressing regret over the incident, the embassy affirmed its respect for Cooper's decision to refrain from continuing the tour.

Overall, the incident highlights the importance of understanding and respecting cultural and religious sensitivities, particularly in the context of religious freedom and international visits.

Read also: Saudi Arabia: Gates for Umrah Pilgrims Allocated at Grand Mosque for Ramadan

Follow Us on Follow Alwast News at Google News
Join Telegram channel