WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said Saudi Arabia sbo be allow women to vote in elections, but added it was up to the kingdom to decide when to do that.
On Sunday, Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz ruled out the participation of women in the landmark municipal elections, but Saudi officials have said -- without specifying a date -- women co be be allowed in the future
"I think women bo be be allowed," Powell told al-Hurra television in an interview.
He added: "I do know that Saudi women had hoped that they wo be be able to vote in these municipal elections. ... And they'll have to decide at what pace they can move, and I think ultimately, in every society in the world, women have to be able to play their full role."
The United States, as part of its Greater Middle East Initiative, has been working with Middle Eastern nations to conduct elections and undertake other steps toward liberalization.