US, Europe shun Saudi conference over Khashoggi
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and senior ministers from Europe on Thursday pulled out of an investment conference in Saudi Arabia, deepening the kingdom’s isolation amid an uproar over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Officials from some of Saudi Arabia’s leading Western allies joined a slew of corporate bigwigs who are now shunning next week’s gathering, touted as a high-powered showcase for the economic reforms of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
In an announcement that sent stocks tumbling on Wall Street, Mnuchin said he had decided with President Donald Trump that he would “not be participating in the Future Investment Initiative summit in Saudi Arabia.”
The decision was given in a terse tweet after Trump and Mnuchin were briefed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has just returned from Saudi Arabia and Turkey to probe for answers over the journalist’s disappearance in Istanbul.