PARIS (Reuters) - Patrice Caine, the chairman and chief executive of French defense electronics group Thales, has decided not to attend a Saudi investment conference next week, amid global concerns over the fate of a missing Saudi journalist.
A spokesman for Thales added that the French company would nevertheless be represented at the event, due to be held in Riyadh from Oct 23-Oct 25, by Jean-Loic Galle, who is an executive at Thales’ space division.
The disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has raised concerns around the world.
Turkish officials have said they believe Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who was critical of the authoritarian kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 and his body removed. The Saudis have denied the allegations.
The French state owns 26 percent of Thales while Dassault Aviation has a 25 percent stake.
Reporting by Cyril Altmeyer; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta