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Richard Branson suspended talks for Saudi investment in his Virgin Group

Richard Branson

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The British billionaire Richard Branson said his Virgin Group will freeze talks with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia for 1 billion USD investment over the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“If it turns out, what happened in Turkey with the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, apparently will change the ability of all of us in the West to do business with the Saudi government”, said Richard Branson. He added that would freeze two projects in Saudi Arabia around the Red Sea over the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi.

The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia has not responded for comment.

Pressure on Saudi Arabia has been boosted since October 2 after the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, who has been a critic of the country’s policy and journalist in Washington Post.

Last year, Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia announced plans to invest about 1 billion USD in Richard Branson’s spacecraft Virigin Galactic, The Spaceship Company and Virgin Orbit.

“We asked for more information from the authorities in Saudi Arabia and clarify our position on Jamal Khashoggi”, said Richard Branson.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg had withdrawn from an investment conference in Saudi Arabia at the end of the month, following the example of other media companies that have also changed their plans to participate after Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance.