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

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde decided to postpone her trip to the Middle East region including the visit to Saudi Arabia amid the scandal around the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, an IMF spokesperson said.

    On Saturday, Lagarde said that she was "horrified" by the reports of the alleged murder of missing Saudi journalist Khashoggi but would still visit the investment forum in Riyadh later in October. The Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference will be held in the Saudi capital on October 23-25.

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

    Khashoggi, who has been working for The Washington Post newspaper and has been known for his criticism of Saudi authorities, went missing in Turkey on October 2. According to his fiancee, Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul and never left the building. The Washington Post reported on Friday that the Turkish authorities had provided the United States with audio and video materials suggesting the journalist had been murdered in the Saudi consulate.

    READ MORE: G7 FMs Call for Punishing Everyone Responsible for Khashoggi Disappearance

    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. According to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Saudi Arabia allowed the Turkish authorities to search the consulate building.

    The World Bank, The New York Times, Bloomberg, CNBC, Google and Uber have announced their decision to pull out of the FII conference amid the ongoing scandal around Khashoggi’s disappearance.

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    Tags:
    disappearance, International Monetary Fund, Jamal Khashoggi, Christine Lagarde, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, United States
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