US, UK likely to boycott Saudi conference: British media
Tehran, Due the mysterious disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, it is highly unlikely that the United States and Britain attend the upcoming international investment conference in Saudi Arabia, a London-based news network said.
'Britain and the US are considering boycotting a major international conference in Saudi Arabia after the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi,' the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) wrote on its website on Sunday.
Citing diplomatic sources, the BBC said the US Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, and UK Trade Minister, Liam Fox, might not attend the high-profile event called Future Investment Initiative (FII) which Saudi Arabia has planned to launch in October.
'A joint statement of condemnation, if it is confirmed that Mr Khashoggi was killed by Saudi agents, is also being discussed by US and European diplomats,' BBC further wrote.
US President Donald Trump has also vowed 'severe punishment' should the kingdom's involvement in the murder is proven.
Trump has said he would be 'very upset and angry' if it turns out that Saudi Arabia has indeed ordered killing the dissident journalist.
Despite expressing anger, the US president has refused to comment on cancelling the major 110-billion-dollar arms sale to Saudi Arabia.
Turkish Yeni Akit newspaper reported British billionaire, Richard Branson, has suspended negotiations with the Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund- a wealth fund to facilitate the promotion of the Saudi Arabian national economy.
Similarly, former United States Secretary of State, Ernest Moniz, announced he has halted the $500 billion project, called NEOM, and his future cooperation with Saudi Arabia, depends on the facts about the journalist's fate.
In the same vein, in response to Khashoggi's case, a number of media and investors have announced they will ban the major conference due to take place in Riyadh.
Major news media such as The New York Times, The Economist, and Los Angeles Times have withdrawn from the event.
The international investment conference will be hosted by Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, to advance his reform agenda. Bin Salman is the first individual at whom the finger of blame for Khashoggi's disappearance is pointed.
The 59-year-old Saudi investigative journalist disappeared last Tuesday after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to collect documents for his forthcoming marriage.
In his articles published mostly by the Washington Post, Khashoggi sharply rebuked Saudi Arabia's policies.
Turkey says it believes he was murdered by Saudi Arabia, a claim Riyadh has thus far denied.
Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA