Saudi Arabia will expand women's rights and eventually allow them to drive, Saudi King Abdullah told a US television channel in his first interview since coming to power.
"I believe the day will come when women drive," King Abdullah told ABC on Friday.
"In fact, if you look at the areas in Saudi Arabia, the deserts and in the rural areas, you will find that women do drive," he noted.
Driving licenses for women "will require patience. In time, I believe it will be possible," he said.
But when pressed on whether he would issue a decree allowing women to drive, Abdullah said Saudi men were too conservative for such a step at the moment.
"I respect my people and I value their well-being. It is impossible that I would do anything that is not acceptable to my people," he said.
Abdullah also vowed to crush at all cost the "scourge" that is Al Qaida and condemned the terror group as "the work of the devil".
He also said that Riyadh is working on lowering oil prices and that Saudi Arabia is now producing 10 million barrels of oil a day to keep up with global demand.