Google latest to withdraw from Saudi conference

Pressure has mounted on Saudi Arabia since prominent Saudi journalist and critic of Saudi policies, went missing

Reuters October 16, 2018
The brand logo of Alphabet's Google is seen outside its office in Beijing, China, August 8, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

Alphabet’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 October 2.

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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 October 23.

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

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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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