SoftBank CEO: We will maintain ties with Saudi Arabia following Khashoggi killing

SoftBank CEO: We will maintain ties with Saudi Arabia following Khashoggi killing
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SoftBank’s CEO Masayoshi Son on Monday said that his company will not cut ties to Saudi Arabia even as other technology firms rethink their relationships with the country in the fallout of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The company has a $45 billion investment from Saudi Arabia into its $100 billion vision fund.

Pressure following Khashoggi’s death at the Saudi consulate Istanbul, compelled many major technology companies, including SoftBank, to pull out of a conference, the Future Investment Initiative (FII), hosted by the Saudi fund in October.

“We have also accepted the responsibility to the people of Saudi Arabia, an obligation we take quite seriously to help them manage their financial resources and diversify their economy,” Son told investors on Monday.  

“As horrible as this event was, we cannot turn our backs on the Saudi people as we work to help them in their continued efforts to reform and modernize their society. So we hope to see those responsible held accountable,” he continued.

Son also did not rule out the possibility of accepting more investments from the country in the future.

Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi consulate in Turkey after visiting October 2 in an attempt to get paperwork to marry his fiancee.

The Saudi government first denied the killing saying the journalist had left the facility before later changing their story and saying the killing indeed happened and was an accident.

A top Saudi official later ruled that the killing was premeditated.

The Saudi government has denied that the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman had direct knowledge of the country targeting Khashoggi. Salman himself has characterized the killing as an “accident.”

Following Khashoggi's death, Salman has become an even more controversial figure.

His supporters have touted him as ushering a new wave of progress in Saudi Arabia, while his detractors have pointed to a prolific record of human rights violations.