Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is the latest to bow out of attending an investor conference in Saudi Arabia as evidence continues to point toward the kingdom’s role in the disappearance of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Khashoggi had permanent resident status in the United States but is originally from Saudi Arabia. He disappeared last week after entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey. Turkish officials say Khashoggi was killed and dismembered moments after entering the consulate.
Saudi officials say the allegations are baseless, but they cannot provide any proof that Khasghoggi left the diplomatic mission alive.
Mnuchin tweeted the news Thursday morning after a meeting with President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
— Steven Mnuchin (@stevenmnuchin1) October 18, 2018
The conference, the Future Investment Initiative, is organized by the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is suspected to have orchestrated the attack.
Mnuchin is just the latest dignitary to pull out of the conference, joining senior government officials from France, Britain and the Netherlands among a growing list of people canceling.
“I will not go to Riyadh next week” for the conference known as “Davos in the Desert,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Thursday on TV channel Public Senat.
Le Maire said the disappearance of Khashoggi is “serious” and facts about it need to be explained by Saudi authorities. He added, however, that his decision doesn’t call into question the strategic partnership between France and Saudi Arabia.
Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra canceled after discussing the issue with Le Maire, the Dutch foreign minister said. Foreign Minister Stef Blok wrote that a Dutch trade mission planned for December to Saudi Arabia also likely will not go ahead.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.