October 18, 2018 / 9:24 AM / a month ago

Dutch call off Saudi trips due to concern over missing journalist

FILE PHOTO: Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra reacts at the start of an euro zone finance ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium, November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Vidal/File Photo

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra on Thursday pulled out of next week’s investment summit in Riyadh and a Dutch trade mission to Saudi Arabia in November was put on hold over concerns about the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“The cabinet has decided that the finance minister will not attend the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh on Oct. 25”, Foreign Minister Stef Blok said in a letter to parliament.

“Saudi authorities have been unable to provide clarity in this serious matter. Also, many international companies, the World Bank, IMF and the French finance minister have canceled their participation.”

Blok said a trip planned by Trade Minister Sigrid Kaag in December was now also unlikely to go ahead.

The November trade mission, focused on waste management, was canceled for now.

“We have been told to inform participants that the mission has been put on hold,” a spokeswoman for PSPS Consultants, which had organized the trip for the government, said.

Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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