Mnuchin to Skip Saudi Business Conference

WASHINGTON (CN) – Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Thursday that he will not attend a financial conference in Saudi Arabia after meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Donald Trump.

Pompeo also announced Thursday that he would give Saudi Arabia several days more to “conduct a complete thorough investigation” into the disappearance and apparent murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Around the same time Pompeo made his announcement, Mnuchin tweeted “Just met with @realDonaldTrump and @SecPompeo and we have decided I will not be participating in the Future Investment Initiative Summit in Saudi Arabia.”

On September 28, Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain a document he needed to marry his Turkish fiancée Hatice Cengiz but was told to return a few days later on October 2.

He returned but never emerged from the consulate.

The journalist is now presumed dead for more than a week and was believed to have been tortured and dismembered, according to Turkish officials, by individuals associated with the Saudi royalty including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Following his meeting with bin Salman earlier this week and following a meeting Thursday at the White House with Trump, Pompeo told reporters: “There are lots of stories out there about what has happened. We are going to allow the process to move forward.”

Several other top government officials have withdrawn from the high profile financial investor conference Mnuchin was set to attend.

They include United Kingdom Trade Minister Liam Fox and Bruno Le Maire, France’s finance minister.

Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra also announced on Thursday that he would not attend the conference.

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