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article imageKhashoggi fallout: Saudi conference no-shows

By AFP     Oct 22, 2018 in World

The head of German conglomerate Siemens on Monday joined a slew of corporate chiefs and politicians in pulling out of an investment conference this week in Saudi Arabia, over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Siemens chief executive Joe Kaeser, in a blog post, discussed the dilemma facing many bosses torn between global outrage over Khashoggi's killing and the need to preserve business ties with the kingdom.

"But for now, the truth must be found and justice must be served," he wrote on LinkedIn.

Ministers from the United States, Britain and France, which have huge defence deals at stake with Saudi Arabia, have already pulled out of the Future Investment Initiative, taking place from Tuesday to Thursday in Riyadh.

The conference is billed as a showcase for the economic reforms of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

But Turkish charges that Khashoggi was killed by a hit squad in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 have shredded the list of VIPs attending.

As of Monday, organisers had yet to release a revised lineup of speakers after a flood of defections last week.

Here is an updated list of no-shows, following Kaeser's announcement:


-- US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin

-- French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire

-- British International Trade Secretary Liam Fox

-- Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra

-- International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde


-- HSBC chief executive John Flint

-- Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam

-- MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga

(HSBC, Credit Suisse and MasterCard are listed alongside Siemens among the eight "strategic partners" of the conference.)

-- BNP Paribas chairman Jean Lemierre

-- Societe Generale CEO Frederic Oudea

-- JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon

-- BlackRock chief Larry Fink

-- Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman

-- Standard Chartered CEO Bill Winters

-- London Stock Exchange CEO David Schwimmer


-- Ford chairman Bill Ford

-- Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi

-- British billionaire Richard Branson

-- Thrive CEO Ariana Huffington

-- Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene


-- Viacom CEO Bob Bakish.

In addition, multiple media groups have withdrawn executives or journalists who were due to take part in the conference, including CNN, Bloomberg, The Economist, The New York Times, CNBC and the Financial Times.

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