Siemens CEO Backs Out of Saudi Conference

Siemens CEO Backs Out of Saudi Conference

ISTANBUL (AP) — The chief executive of German industrial conglomerate Siemens says he won’t be going to this week’s investment conference in Saudi Arabia. He’s the latest to pull out of the event in the aftermath of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi who was slain at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.

Joe Kaeser wrote in a LinkedIn post Monday that he had “received hundreds, if not thousands, of emails and social media posts urging me not to attend the Future Investment Initiative Conference.”

Kaeser said Siemens has been “a reliable partner” to Saudi Arabia for decades “but for now, the truth must be found and justice must be served” in the case of Khashoggi. He stressed that “it’s not a decision against the kingdom or its people.”

He defended leaving his decision until late, and said that “blaming companies for keeping the lines of communication open and for protecting people and jobs is simply cutting it too short.”

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