French finance minister cancels trip to Saudi conference

Published On: October 18, 2018 03:15 PM NPT By: Associated Press

PARIS, Oct 18: France’s finance minister has canceled his attendance at an upcoming investment conference in Saudi Arabia amid doubts over the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Bruno Le Maire said Thursday on French television channel Public Senat that “I will not go to Riyadh next week” for the conference, known as “Davos in the Desert.”

He said the facts related to the disappearance of Khashoggi are “serious” and need to be explained by Saudi authorities.

Turkish officials say that Khashoggi was killed and dismembered at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Saudi officials have denied the allegations as “baseless,” but haven’t provided evidence of the writer leaving the diplomatic mission alive.

Le Maire added his decision doesn’t call into question the strategic partnership between France and Saudi Arabia.

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