Riyadh : Saudi Arabia has demanded that French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s girlfriend, French-Italian singer Carla Bruni, does not accompany him to Saudi Arabia next week, a diplomatic source said Monday.
Sarkozy is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia for the first time since he took office Jan 13, according to reports. He is scheduled to discuss issues of regional concern with Saudi’s King Abdullah Abdel-Aziz.
However, Sarkozy’s partner will not accompany him this time, said the source. The couple were seen holidaying together in Cairo and Luxor in Egypt and Petra in Jordan.
Even in a relatively open society like Egypt, lawmakers had questioned the appropriateness of the French president sharing a room with a woman who is not his spouse.
In Saudi Arabia, a kingdom that strictly adheres to Islamic law, the issue seems non-negotiable as men and women are often forbidden from directly interacting even in schools and the workplace.