Published: Fri, October 19, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

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

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

"Previously planned trip the managing Director of the IMF in the Middle East region is delayed", reports CNBC, citing a source in the global monetary Fund. Executives from major European banks including BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, HSBC and Societe Generale have dropped out.

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

But SoftBank, whose $93bn Vision Fund was half-funded by Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, said it was "anxiously monitoring" events and has not pulled out.

The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cancelled her planned trip to the Middle East, which included a stop in Saudi Arabia - a country under the spotlight following the suspected murder of a journalist at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.

Turkish authorities say the journalist was killed inside the Saudi consulate by a group of hitmen traveling from Riyadh, which has insisted without evidence that Khashoggi disappeared after leaving the consulate.

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Lagarde is the latest figure to suspend her involvement in the Riyadh conference following the disappearance of Khashoggi.

"We remain very troubled by the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi", added the statement by Canada, which now holds the presidency of the group of industrial democracies.

Khashoggi, who was living in self-imposed exile in the United States where he contributed to the Washington Post, vanished after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Trump himself said it could have been "rogue killers" and cautioned against rushing to blame Saudi Arabia.

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