Pres­sure on king­dom

Herald on Sunday - - WORLD - York Times —AP

Global busi­ness lead­ers are re­assess­ing their ties with Saudi Ara­bia, stok­ing pres­sure on the Gulf king­dom to ex­plain what hap­pened to dis­si­dent writer Ja­mal Khashoggi.

Bri­tish bil­lion­aire Sir Richard Bran­son yes­ter­day sus­pended busi­ness links with Saudi Ara­bia, and Uber chief ex­ec­u­tive Dara Khos­row­shahi said he might not at­tend a ma­jor in­vest­ment con­fer­ence there this month.

“What has re­port­edly hap­pened in Turkey around the dis­ap­pear­ance of jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi, if proved true, would clearly change the abil­ity of any of us in the West to do busi­ness with the Saudi govern­ment,” Bran­son said.

The founder of Vir­gin Group says he will sus­pend his role as direc­tor in two tourism projects in Saudi Ara­bia while an in­ves­ti­ga­tion takes place. He also is putting on hold talks about a pro­posed Saudi in­vest­ment in space com­pa­nies Vir­gin Ga­lac­tic and Vir­gin Or­bit.

Khos­row­shahi is sched­uled to speak at the Fu­ture In­vest­ment Ini­tia­tive con­fer­ence from Oc­to­ber 23-25 in Riyadh but “un­less a sub­stan­tially dif­fer­ent set of facts emerges, I won’t be at­tend­ing.” US Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Steve Mnuchin con­firmed yes­ter­day he will go.

The Fi­nan­cial Times an­nounced it would no longer be a me­dia part­ner to the event, like­wise Bloomberg — though it will cover the event. CNN can­celled its part­ner­ship, the New

and CNBC pulled out of the event.


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