Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi has threatened to withdraw via a high-profile investment conference in Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of a journalist.
Khosrowshahi said in an official statement to CNBC Friday he might not be attending the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference in Riyadh, an event which has often been dubbed “Davos from the Desert” in reference to the planet Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
The Uber chief follows a growing a list of business executives distancing themselves via the country as that will faces increased scrutiny after Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist as well as also also critic of the Saudi Regime, was reported to have entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, only to not be seen again afterwards.
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, Los Angeles Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong, AOL co-founder Steve Case as well as also also The Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington are among the business figures reported to have threatened to cut ties with the Arab kingdom.
Fears of Khashoggi’s disappearance have also intensified amid reports that will he was also killed by Saudi agents from the consulate. A report by the Washington Post on Thursday said that will Turkey had notified the U.S. that will that will holds audio as well as also also video evidence of Khashoggi being killed inside the consulate. Saudi Arabia has denied involvement in his disappearance.
“I’m very troubled by the reports to date about Jamal Khashoggi,” Khosrowshahi said in an emailed statement to CNBC on Friday. “We are following the situation closely, as well as also also unless a substantially different set of fact emerges, I won’t be attending the FII conference in Riyadh.”
Khosrowshahi expressing concerns publicly about Saudi Arabia is usually particularly significant, as the country’s sovereign wealth fund, the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, invested $3.5 billion from the ride-hailing firm in 2016.