FEATURED:

Uber CEO pulls out of Saudi Arabia conference over Khashoggi disappearance

Uber CEO pulls out of Saudi Arabia conference over Khashoggi disappearance
© Getty

Uber's CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says he will not attend an upcoming conference in Saudi Arabia amid reports of the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and critic of the Saudi government.

Khosrowshahi said in a statement to reporters Thursday evening Uber would pull out of the Future Investment Initiative, dubbed Riyadh's "Davos in the desert" because of Khashoggi's disappearance amid reports Thursday evening that Turkish police say they have evidence the Post columnist was tortured and murdered by Saudi personnel.

"I’m very troubled by the reports to date about Jamal Khashoggi. We are following the situation closely, and unless a substantially different set of facts emerges, I won’t be attending the FII conference in Riyadh," he said, according to an email from Uber's press office.

Saudi Arabia has denied responsibility for Khashoggi's disappearance and has called for a joint investigation.

ADVERTISEMENT

Recordings reportedly obtained by Turkish investigators and described to U.S. counterparts apparently contain evidence detailing the torture and dismemberment of Khashoggi, a Saudi-born journalist with ties to the royal family who nevertheless had been critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in recent months.

Khosrowshahi's statement followed similar statements from The New York Times, The Economist and a number of notable journalists also withdrawing participation from the event. CNN, which is also set to attend the event, is reportedly evaluating its attendance.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats slide in battle for Senate Trump believes Kushner relationship with Saudi crown prince a liability: report Christine Blasey Ford to be honored by Palo Alto City Council MORE indicated earlier Thursday that his administration was investigating the disappearance of the Post's columnist.

"I have to find out what happened. I mean, I do have to find out. And we're probably getting closer than you might think. But I have to find out what happened," the president said in an interview on Fox News.