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Siemens CEO Kaeser says he will not attend Saudi investment conference

Siemens CEO Kaeser says he will not attend Saudi investment conference
FILE PHOTO: Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser attends a session of the Russian Energy Week international forum in Moscow, Russia October 3, 2018. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin/File Photo   -   Copyright  Sergei Karpukhin(Reuters)
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BERLIN (Reuters) – Siemens <SIEGn.DE> Chief Executive Joe Kaeser said on Monday that he would not attend the Future Investment Initiative conference in Saudi Arabia, following the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The German engineering giant is one of the last companies to decide against sending its top executive to the “Davos in the Desert” after Saudi Arabia sought to cover up Khashoggi’s killing before admitting to a “grave mistake”.

“Siemens is a reliable and committed partner of The Kingdom and its VISION 2030. But for now, truth needs to be found out and justice applied,” Kaeser said in a statement outlining his motivation not to travel to the conference, which was posted on his LinkedIn account.

“Time will tell how things will develop. And I do hope there will be clarity, transparency, and justice sooner rather than later,” Kaeser said.

Three European powers – Germany, Britain and France – pressed Saudi Arabia to probe the killing, and Chancellor Angela Merkel said over the weekend that Germany would not export arms to Saudi Arabia while uncertainty over Khashoggi’s fate persisted.

(Reporting by Tassilo Hummel and Edward Taylor; Editing by Maria Sheahan)

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