October- 16, 2018 | AtoZMarkets - Alphabet Inc’s Google has announced in a statement that it would not attend the Future Investment Initiative Summit, which is supposed be held in Riyadh next 23rd of October, according to Reuters.
Even though Google’s Greene did not provide a reason for the decision, according to analysts, Google’s decision comes against the background of the missing of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as other businesses decided to withdraw from the summit as well.
Khashoggi- a U.S. resident, Washington Post columnist and critic of Saudi policies was reported missing after he was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, for finishing marriage papers.
Ramifications of Khashoggi's Death
News reports informed that 15 Saudi operatives –who flew to Istanbul on two private planes- were seen entering the consulate prior to Khashoggi’s arrival to the diplomatic compound, who was not seen leaving it after that, as footage from surveillance cameras showed.
The Turkish government in its turn believes that Khashoggi was killed and dismembered inside the consulate, and his body was removed in suitcases or boxes, with Turkish officials saying the have audio and video recordings of Khashoggi's interrogation.
After having spoken by phone with King Salman of Saudi Arabia, the U.S President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday that the former denied “any knowledge of whatever may have happened". Trump suggested as well that Khashoggi might have been murdered by "rogue killers" operating outside the authority of the Saudi government.
International pressure has mounted on Saudi Arabia since the accident took place on Oct. 2, which pushed many business leaders to step back from attending pre-scheduled events in the kingdom, like the upcoming summit mentioned above, which has so far lost prominent firms from its rows, with Google following today.
It is worth mentioning that Google’s step comes after the IT giant announced earlier this year, that it would work with a Saudi agency to launch five innovation hubs in the country, for training “aspiring technologists”.