IMF chief postpones Middle East trip with Saudi stop

Elias Hubbard
October 19, 2018

"Previously planned trip the managing Director of the IMF in the Middle East region is delayed", reports CNBC, citing a source in the worldwide monetary Fund.

The chief executive of French bank Societe Generale, Frederic Oudea, also dropped out on Wednesday.

Several Western business titans and media groups have already pulled out of the conference organized by Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund.

"The Managing Director's previously scheduled trip to the Middle East region is being deferred", the spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Last Saturday, during the IMF's annual meetings in Bali, Ms Lagarde said she would travel to Riyadh for the gathering next week.

The one-sentence statement from the International Monetary Fund didn't give a reason for the change or mention the summit.

The US resident and critic of the Saudi government has not been seen since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

With the Saudi government facing rising global pressure to explain what it knows about the disappearance of Mr. Khashoggi, a Washington-based opinion writer who was frequently critical of the royal family, a number of leading USA corporate figures have canceled their own plans to attend the conference, whose fate now is very much in doubt.

A page with a list of confirmed speakers has been deleted from the website for the conference, which runs from 23 to 25 October.

"We remain very troubled by the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi", added the statement by Canada, which now holds the presidency of the group of industrial democracies.

Trump himself said it could have been "rogue killers" and cautioned against rushing to blame Saudi Arabia.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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