Google drops out of Saudi conference amid disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi

Google’s Diane Greene did not offer a reason for not attending the conference in Riyadh. Other business leaders who have said they would not attend the conference, including Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi, said they were concerned about Khashoggi’s disappearance.
A logo is pictured at Google's European Engineering Center in Zurich, Switzerland on July 19.(REUTERS)
A logo is pictured at Google's European Engineering Center in Zurich, Switzerland on July 19.(REUTERS)
Published on Oct 16, 2018 12:03 PM IST
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Reuters | ByReuters

Alphabet Inc’s Google on Monday became the latest company to drop out of a business conference in Saudi Arabia.

Pressure has mounted on Saudi Arabia since prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a US resident, Washington Post columnist and critic of Saudi policies, went missing. He was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Google said in a statement that Google Cloud Chief Executive Diane Greene would not attend the Future Investment Initiative Summit scheduled to be held in Riyadh starting Oct. 23.

Google’s Greene did not offer a reason for her action, and a spokesman declined to elaborate.

Other business leaders who have said they would not attend the conference, including Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi, said they were concerned about Khashoggi’s disappearance.

Earlier this year Google announced that it would work with a Saudi agency to open five innovation hubs in the country to train aspiring technologists.

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