Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal backs letting women drive

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) - Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has indicated support for allowing women there to drive.

He said that would help the kingdom's campaign to cut down on the number of foreign workers on its shores.

Saudi Arabia follows an ultraconservative interpretation of Islam and bans women from driving.

"The question of allowing women to drive in Saudi Arabia will save more than 500,000 jobs, in addition to the social and economic benefits," the prince wrote Sunday on his Twitter account.

Thousands of foreign workers have been fired from their jobs and then deported, part of a government campaign against foreigners who illegally reside and work in the kingdom.

Last week, King Abdullah gave workers three months to try to legalise their presence. There are more than 8 million foreign workers in Saudi Arabia.