IMF's Lagarde Defers Visit to Saudi Arabia Amid Missing Journalist Scandal

Jamal Khashoggi

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde has postponed her trip to the Middle East, according to an IMF statement on Wednesday.

That's a reversal from just four days ago, when Ms. Lagarde said she was "horrified" by news reports that Mr. Khashoggi may have been kidnapped or killed on a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 2, but that she still planned to attend the October 25-28 Future Investment Initiative conference being organized by the oil-rich kingdom.

Saturday still, at the meetings of the autumn of the fund in Bali, Ms. Lagarde had said that she would be at this conference in Riyadh where the who's who of industry and finance would meet from 23 to 25 October.

Ryanair chairman David Bonderman is one of a number of high-profile business individuals to have pulled out of an investment conference due to take place in Saudi Arabia next week.

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The head of the global monetary Fund Christine Lagarde cancelled a scheduled trip to the Middle East.

Media outlets including CNBC, Financial Times, CNN and The New York Times have also withdrawn from the event, citing concerns about Khashoggi's disappearance. "Therefore, at this stage, I'm not going to change my plans but I will be very attentive to the information that will appear in the next few days and I'm going to express myself", warned the manager.

Saudi Arabia has denied all the allegations, saying that the journalist went missing after he had left the consulate and that Riyadh was assisting the Turkish authorities in their efforts to locate the journalist.

Khashoggi, who had been living in the United States as a voluntary exile from Saudi Arabia, was a prominent critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi royal family.

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