10/13/2018, 9:04 AM (Source:
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Mnuchin says he will attend Saudi conference amid Khashoggi case

United States Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated on Saturday that he will attend the major economic conference in Riyadh scheduled for October 23-25, but added that he would take into account any new information that comes out regarding the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. "The answer is for now I am still going," Mnuchin told reporters at an IMF annual conference in Bali. "If more information comes out over the next week, I will obviously take that into account."

IMF chief Christine Laggard also said earlier today that she will go to the Saudi capital to attend the Future Investment Initiative, an event known as the "Davos in the Desert," but said she is "horrified" by the reports regarding Khashoggi's possible murder. "But I have to conduct the business of the IMF in all corners in the world and with many governments," Laggard said. Riyadh's alleged role in Khashoggi's disappearance triggered a number of participants at the Future Investment Institutive to call of their attendance, including Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, while World Bank chief pulled out for still unknown reasons. Meanwhile, billionaire investor Richard Brunson decided to suspend investment talks with the Saudi government over the allegations.

Khashoggi, a strong critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was last seen on October 2 when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain divorce papers. The Turkish government ordered an investigation into his disappearance after reports emerged that the journalist might have been killed in the building by a 15-man Saudi assassination squad that arrived in Turkey the same day. Yesterday, it was reported that Ankara has audio and video recordings that prove Khoshaggi's murder. However, Saudi Arabia continues to deny all allegations, saying earlier today that the accusations raised against it are "lies and baseless allegations."

Breaking the News / FH