US reluctant to abandon ally Saudi Arabia as more government official pull out of Saudi conference

While the united State is still reluctant to abandon its ally Saudi Arabia in the ongoing controversy over the sudden disappearance of a Washington Post columnist and prominent critic of Saudi's leadership, Jamal Khashoggi, the rest of the global community has continued reacting in the opposite direction.

Following the news of Saudi's alleged involvement in the disappearance of the journalist, notable firms and government and private personalities earlier scheduled to attend an investment conference in Saudi Arabia have either cancelled or put in doubt their attendance.

The latest to join the continually growing list is French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.

Le Maire said Saudi authorities needed to explain the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi after he went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

"No, I will not be going," Le Maire told Public Senat TV. "The allegations are serious".

Asked if the move might jeopardize relations between the two countries - which enjoy close diplomatic ties and commercial relations spanning energy, finance and arms - Le Maire said: "Absolutely not.

Meanwhile reports by ANP on Thursday says another European minister has also cancelled plans to attend the conference.

Dutch finance minister, Wopka Hoekstra will not attend next week's meetings in Riyadh after journalist Jamal Khashoggi went missing during a visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. , ANP reported.

There has been no official statement from the Dutch government confirming the reports and Reuters News Agency reports they declined to comment when contacted

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said his plans to attend an investment conference in Riyadh next week would be revisited on Thursday.

Media reports have quoted Turkish officials saying they believe Khashoggi had been murdered and dismembered inside the consulate, allegations which the Saudis have repeatedly denied.

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