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Mnuchin Withdraws From Saudi Investment Conference Amid Khashoggi Inquiry



WASHINGTON – Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has withdrawn from the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh next week after facing bipartisan backlash over his plans to attend the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, a dissident Saudi journalist.

Mr. Mnuchin was planning to speak at the conference during a six-country, weeklong swing through the Middle East, focused on combating terrorism financing. Several prominent chief executives The plans of the Treasury secretary have been completed.

The Treasury secretary, who has been fielding calls from executives in the recent days, has been

However, the pressure to cancel – which included calls from Republican lawmakers – was too much and, on Thursday, Mr. Mnuchin decided to withdraw. It was uncertain as of Thursday morning, so he was planning to visit the Terrorist Financing and Targeting Center, a joint initiative between the United States, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations unveiled a year ago. [19659003] The decision came after Mr. Mnuchin met Trump and Mike Pompeo, secretary of state at the White House on Thursday morning, according to a Treasury spokesman. Mr. Mnuchin was presented with some new information that influenced the decision.

Mr. Mr. Khashoggi seriously.

The Saudi leaders" Mr. Khashoggi and they are doing so in a timely fashion, "Mr. Pompeo said in remarks to reporters at the White House after he briefed the president about his meetings in Riyadh. He said the Saudi report would be "highly transparent", as they are widely available.

Mr. Pompeo is reminded journalists of America's long "strategic" relationship with the Saudis, dating back to 1932, continues to be "important counterterrorism partners."

Mr. Mnuchin's attendance emerged as a litmus test for America's commitment to human rights. Mr. Trump and Mr. Pompeo have emphasized that the economic and economic relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia goes back decades, and that it should not be upheld by the disappearance of Mr. Khashoggi.

Mr.

Former Treasury officials and friends of Trump have also been focused on the fact that they have not been able to pay any American dollars Mr. Mnuchin has been listening to his dismissal for the past few years.

As the news media said, "The purport to depict the dismissal of Mr. Khashoggi Mr. Mnuchin faced backlash from Republican lawmakers seeking as Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, as well as several top Democrats.

Former Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill, who served during the George W. Bush administration called Mr. Mnuchin's idea "ridiculous" in the circumstances.


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