According to new regulations, those willing to marry  foreign women should first obtain government consent

Riyadh : Saudi Arabia has banned its male citizens from marrying women from four countries – Pakistan, Bangladesh, Chad and Myanmar – a police officer said.

The announcement comes as a part of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to prohibit Saudi men from marrying expatriates, a subject widely debated in the Gulf nation. There is an estimated 500,000 women from the four countries, residing in Saudi Arabia. Mecca Police Director Assaf Al-Qurashi said additional formalities have been placed before issuing the permission for marriage with foreigners, Dawnonline reported citing a local daily on Wednesday, according to IANS.

Tougher regulations have been introduced for such marriages, that includes, obtaining consent from the authorities and submitting marriage applications through official channels, the report said.

Applicants should be over 25 and attach identification documents signed by the local district mayor as well as all other identity papers, including a copy of his family card. “If the applicant is already married, he should attach a report from a hospital proving that his wife is either disabled, suffering from a chronic disease or is sterile,” Al-Qurashi said. However, no official announcement has been released by the Saudi Arabian government till yet. The largest oil exporting nation is home to an estimated 9 million expatriate worker, constituting 30 per cent of the total population. The highly conservative country has been the subject of global condemnation for its bad record in granting equal rights to women in the country.

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