October 16, 2018 / 12:13 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Google latest to withdraw from Saudi conference

(Adds details about conference, background)

By Arjun Panchadar

Oct 15 (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google on Monday became the latest company to drop out of a business conference in Saudi Arabia.

Pressure has mounted on Saudi Arabia since prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a U.S. resident, Washington Post columnist and critic of Saudi policies, went missing. He was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Google said in a statement that Google Cloud Chief Executive Diane Greene would not attend the Future Investment Initiative Summit scheduled to be held in Riyadh starting Oct. 23.

Google's Greene did not offer a reason for her action, and a spokesman declined to elaborate.

Other business leaders who have said they would not attend the conference, including Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi, said they were concerned about Khashoggi's disappearance.

Earlier this year Google announced that it would work with a Saudi agency to open five innovation hubs in the country to train aspiring technologists. (Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru Additional reporting by Paresh Dave in San Francisco)

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