Liam Fox ‘could join US in boycotting major Saudi conference’ over missing journalist

Posted On: 
15th October 2018

Liam Fox may join the UK’s international allies in boycotting a major conference in Saudi Arabia after the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Liam Fox could boycott a major international conference in Saudi Arabia
PA Images

The International Trade Secretary is due to travel to an investment conference in Riyadh, but could follow representatives from the United States in pulling out, according to the BBC.

They say the US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Mr Fox may turn down the event given it is hosted by the kingdom's Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman to promote his reform agenda.

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A number of sponsors and media groups have already withdrawn from the so-called “Davos in the Desert”.

Turkish authorities say they believe Mr Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government, was murdered, after he visited its consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.

The Saudi state has dismissed the claim as “lies”, while the US has vowed to “punish” the oil-rich nation if it is responsible.

The broadcaster says that a joint statement of condemnation, if it is confirmed that Mr Khashoggi was killed by Saudi agents, is also being discussed by US and European diplomats.

A spokesman for the UK's international trade department told the BBC that Mr Fox's diary was not yet finalised for the week of the conference.