Mnuchin says will attend Saudi investment conference

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday he was still planning to attend an investment conference in Saudi Arabia despite growing outrage over the disappearance of a prominent Saudi journalist in Turkey.

United States Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin speaks during an interview with Reuters at the International Monetary Fund – World Bank Annual Meeting 2018 in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, October 12, 2018. REUTERS/Johannes P. Christo

Menuchin’s comments came after several media companies, including CNN, said they would pull out of the conference later this month, following the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of Saudi policies, after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

“I am planning on going at this point. If more information comes out and changes, we can look at that, but I am planning on going,” Mnuchin said in an interview with CNBC.

Mnuchin said he had not spoken directly with Saudi officials but that others in the administration were doing so.

CNN on Friday said it would no longer participate in an upcoming Saudi investment conference, becoming the latest media company to withdraw from the event after Khashoggi’s disappearance.

“CNN has withdrawn its participation in the Saudi Future Investment Initiative Conference,” the international television broadcaster said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Susan Heavey; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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