According to an edict from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, effective 10 December, expatriate organizations and associations are banned from the Kingdom.
Right now this news is raising more questions than answers.
The statement notified foreign representatives that the establishment of such organizations “violated the rules and objectives of diplomatic missions.” The statement further requested that officials “comply and prevent the creation of community organizations,” and “immediately cancel formation of organizations and their activities without permit from the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”
The generic statement makes one question whether such organizations as the American Community Riyadh (ACR); Hash Harriers; British Wives Group; US-Saudi Business Group; Riyadh Rovers; and many other notable organizations will have to disband? Or, will such organizations be able to continue but now need this new and unidentified permit from the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs?
All countries in the world have organizations and associations which are popular among host country nationals and expatriates. No reason has been given for this dramatic edict taking place in Saudi Arabia.
I do not envision any of the established organizations in the Kingdom taking this news lightly. These organizations have been in place for about as long as there have been expatriates in the Kingdom and are valuable resources.
This is a highly unusual announcement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and will be followed closely by American Bedu blog.
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