US Treasury chief to skip Saudi investment conference amid Khashoggi case

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday he will skip
next week’s Saudi investment summit, dealing another blow to
Riyadh following the suspected murder of journalist Jamal
Khashoggi.

“I will not be participating in the Future Investment
Initiative summit in Saudi Arabia,” Mnuchin announced on
Twitter after meeting with US President Donald Trump and
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Pompeo had just returned from Saudi Arabia and briefed Trump on
the status of the investigation into the journalist’s
disappearance in Turkey.

With Wall Street already teetering on Thursday, Mnuchin’s
announcement sent US stocks tumbling, adding to losses from a
recent sell-off.

Prominent business partners of Saudi Arabia and investors,
including companies with significant investment from Riyadh,
have fled the conference since Khashoggi’s disappearance on
October 2 during a visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Turkish officials have told reporters of gruesome details of
Khashoggi’s alleged killing which they say were gathered by
Turkish intelligence, tying officials with close to Saudi Crown
Prince Mohammad bin Salman to the incident.

Khashoggi was a prominent political and human rights critic of
the Saudi government who had been living in the United States.

While withholding judgment on the case, Trump and Pompeo in
recent days have stressed the depth of US-Saudi cooperation in
financial and counterterrorism matters stretching back for
almost a century.

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