By Ayhan Simsek
Siemens Chief Executive Joe Kaeser announced Monday that he will not attend this week’s international investment conference in Saudi Arabia, amid an ongoing probe into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
In a statement he shared on social media, Kaeser expressed sorrow over Khashoggi’s “barbaric” death and noted that Saudi Arabia’s "accident story” was not convincing.
“Siemens has been a reliable partner to Saudi Arabia for decades and supports its great Vision 2030. But for now, the truth must be found and justice must be served,” he stressed.
Khashoggi was last seen on Oct. 2 when he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
After days of denying to know his whereabouts, Saudi Arabia on Saturday claimed Khashoggi died during a fight inside the consulate.
While announcing his decision not to attend Future Investment Initiative Conference (FII) in Riyadh, Kaeser also warned against generalizations about Saudi Arabia.
“The crime was not committed by the 33 million mostly young people in the Kingdom nor by our valued customers, nor by our partners,” he said.
Nicknamed “Davos in the Desert” and slated to run on Oct. 23-25, the conference is Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s attempt to diversify the country's oil-based economy.