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Australia Refuses to Partake in Riyadh Forum After Khashoggi Death Confirmation

CC BY-SA 4.0 / B.alotaby / Riyadh SkylineRiyadh Skyline showing the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) and the famous Kingdom Tower
Riyadh Skyline showing the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) and the famous Kingdom Tower - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The official participation of Australia in the investment forum in Riyadh is not appropriate in light of the death of Saudi opposition journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said in a joint statement on Saturday.

"Australia deplores the killing of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, at the hands of Saudi operatives at Saudi Arabia's Consulate in Istanbul earlier this month… In light of this new information, we have determined that official Australian representation at the forthcoming Future Investment Initiative ('Davos in the desert') event in Riyadh is no longer appropriate," the statement posted on Birmingham's Facebook said.

READ MORE: Mideast States Voice Support for Saudi Arabia Over Khashoggi Case

On Friday, Saudi Prosecutor General Saud bin Abdullah Muajab stated that Khashoggi had died as a result of a brawl with some people at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Muajab said that 18 people had been detained within the case, adding that the perpetrators of the killing would be held accountable.

US President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (R) attend the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 21, 2017. - Sputnik International
Trump: Khashoggi Death Unacceptable, But Saudis Needed as Counterbalance to Iran
Khashoggi has recently been working as a columnist for The Washington Post. The journalist was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

READ MORE: Jamal Khashoggi's Secret Interview Released as His Death Confirmed

After Khashoggi's disappearance, many businessmen and media representatives that planned to participate in the Future Investment Initiative (FII) investment forum, which will be held in Riyadh on October 23-25, refused to attend the event. So, according to media reports, among them are JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and US Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin.

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