Google pulls out Saudi business conference amid missing journalist scandal

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Google decided not to take part in the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Summit in the Saudi capital of Riyadh amid the scandal around missing Saudi opposition journalist Jamal Khashoggi, company’s spokesperson said.

The forum will be held on October 23-25 and hosted by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

"We can confirm [CEO of Google cloud computing division] Diane Greene will not be attending the FII Summit," the spokesperson said, as quoted by The Hill media outlet.

The spokesperson refused to mention the reasons for the company’s decision.

The World Bank, The New York Times, Bloomberg, CNBC and Uber have also announced their decision to pull out the conference amid the ongoing scandal around Khashoggi’s disappearance.

Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, went missing in Turkey on October 2. According to the journalist's fiancee, he was invited to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul but never left the consulate building. Media reported that Turkish investigators believe the journalist was murdered inside the consulate, but Saudi Arabia claims that Khashoggi went missing after he left the building.

A number of states, including Germany, France, Spain and the United Kingdom, have expressed serious concerns over the journalist's disappearance. US President Donald Trump on Saturday threatened to "punish" Riyadh if it was proven to be behind the suspected killing.

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