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From Branson to Dara: Biz leaders suspend Saudi ties over Khashoggi case

Saudi Arabia is facing increasing international pressure to clarify what happened to Hashoggi

AP | PTI  |  London 

Jamal Khashoggi , journalist Jamal Khashoggi , saudi journalist, missing saudi journalist
Jamal Khashoggi

Global business leaders are reassessing their ties with Saudi Arabia, stoking pressure on the Gulf kingdom to explain what happened to a dissident writer who disappeared after visiting its consulate in Istanbul.

British billionaire on Friday suspended business links with Saudi Arabia, and Uber CEO said he might not attend a major investment conference in the country this month amid reports that Jamal may have been killed at the Saudi consulate in Turkey's capital.

"What has reportedly happened in around the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, if proved true, would clearly change the ability of any of us in the West to do business with the Saudi government," Branson said in a statement.

Branson, founder of Virgin Group, says he will suspend his directorships in two tourism projects in while an investigation takes place. He also is putting on hold discussions about a proposed Saudi investment in space companies Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit.

is facing increasing pressure to clarify what happened to hashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, with US President and British Foreign Secretary among those demanding answers.

Khosrowshahi is scheduled to speak at the Future Investment Initiative conference, which takes place Oct. 23-25 in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. The event also lists JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, and US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin among dozens of expected speakers.

"I'm very troubled by the reports to date about Jamal Khashoggi," Khosrowshahi said. "We are following the situation closely, and unless a substantially different set of facts emerges, I won't be attending the FII conference in Riyadh.

First Published: Fri, October 12 2018. 16:20 IST