IMF's Lagarde defers trip to Saudi Arabia as crisis continues

IMF's Lagarde Defers Visit to Saudi Arabia Amid Missing Journalist Scandal

The IMF did not give a specific reason but Lagarde is the latest in a long line of speakers and attendees to withdraw from the three-day event as diplomatic tensions mount around Khashoggi's disappearance.

Paris: French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said Thursday he was pulling out of a major investment conference in Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Businesses have been dropping out of the Future Investment Initiative at pace over the past few days as more details emerge surrounding the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The Future Investment Initiative, hosted under the leadership Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, is set to be held on October 23-25.

The head of the global monetary Fund Christine Lagarde cancelled a scheduled trip to the Middle East.

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As a Virginia resident and Post columnist, Khashoggi's disappearance has drawn the White House into the Saudi-Turkish standoff. Earlier, the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia , Walid Bin Abdul Karim El Khereiji, was summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

Last week, Lagarde told reporters at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank annual meetings in Bali, Indonesia, that while she was "horrified" at the disappearance and suspected killing of Khashoggi, she was still planning to attend the conference in Riyadh.

Other business leaders who have announced they would not attend the conference, including Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi, said they were concerned about Khashoggi's disappearance.

"When I visit a country I always say what I think, you know me, I am", she pointed out. He was last seen on October 2 when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Saudi Arabia has denied all the allegations, saying that the journalist went missing after he had left the consulate and that Riyadh was assisting the Turkish authorities in their efforts to locate the journalist.

An official told the Associated Press on Tuesday that a police search of the consulate found evidence that Khashoggi was slain there.

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