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JPMorgan CEO withdraws from Saudi conference

JPMorgan CEO withdraws from Saudi conference
© Greg Nash

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is withdrawing from the upcoming investment conference in Saudi Arabia amid the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to CNBC.

Dimon's announcement comes hours after Ford Motor Chairman Bill Ford also said he will not be attending the conference, dubbed "Davos in the Desert." 

Turkish authorities say killers working on behalf of the Saudi government murdered Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Khashoggi was last seen entering the consulate and has not been heard from since.

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Multiple top executives and media companies have pulled out from the Oct. 23-25 Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which is supposed to highlight the kingdom's place in the global market. 

Neither Ford nor Dimon said specifically whether they pulled out over the Washington Post contributor's disappearance. Multiple media companies, including CNBC, Financial Times, CNN and The New York Times, were more explicit in pointing to Khashoggi's disappearance to explain why they were not attending.

The Saudis have denied any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance, but multiple lawmakers have said all the evidence points to Riyadh.

U.S. intelligence indicates Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Salman was planning to lure Khashoggi back to his native Saudi Arabia in order to detain him. 

Turkish and Saudi authorities are currently investigating the incident. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpVenezuela judge orders prison time for 6 American oil executives Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation MORE during an interview on CBS's "60 Minutes" said Saudi Arabia would be "severely punished" if it was involved in killing Khashoggi, but declined to say if the U.S. would pull back from its arms deal with the Saudis.

Khashoggi contributed to The Washington Post's opinions section, sometimes writing critically of the Saudi government. 

"I’m terribly distressed by the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and reports of his murder," CNBC's Aaron Ross Sorkin wrote on Twitter last week. "I will no longer be participating in the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh." 

The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Initial jobless claims rise for 2nd week | Dow dips below 30K | Mnuchin draws fire for COVID-19 relief move | Manhattan DA appeals dismissal of Manafort charges Mnuchin to put 5B in COVID-19 relief funds beyond successor's reach The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience MORE have both said they are still planning to attend the Future Investment Initiative conference, according to CNBC.