US’ Mnuchin says talk about sanctions premature, will visit Riyadh to meet with counterpart

"I will not be participating in the Future Investment Initiative summit in Saudi Arabia," Mnuchin announced on Twitter after meeting with US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (AFP/Mandel Ngan)
Updated 21 October 2018
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US’ Mnuchin says talk about sanctions premature, will visit Riyadh to meet with counterpart

JERUSALEM, Oct 21 : US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday it was premature to comment on possible US sanctions against Saudi Arabia for the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi until an investigation had been completed.
Mnuchin said information so far on the investigation was “a good first step but not enough” as Riyadh faced increasing international pressure over what happened to Khashoggi, who disappeared after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
US President Donald Trump, who has said the United States would consider sanctions against Saudi Arabia, emphasized on Saturday that he was not satisfied with the Saudis’ handling of the case.
“It would be premature to comment on sanctions and premature to comment on really any issues until we get further down the investigation and get to the bottom of what occurred,” Mnuchin told reporters in Jerusalem.
Mnuchin confirmed that he would not attend a Saudi investment conference on Tuesday. However, he said he would visit Riyadh as planned for talks with his counterpart on joint efforts to counter terrorist financing and plans by Washington to reimpose sanctions against Iran in November.
“I did not think it was appropriate to go and speak at this conference but we continue to have important issues with Saudi and that is why I am going there,” Mnuchin said.
The visit, he said, was necessary as Washington prepares to reimpose sanctions against Iran.
He said he had no reason to believe that Saudi Arabia would renege on commitments to make up for any shortfall in global oil supplies as Iranian oil exports are curbed under the sanctions.
“I have no reason to believe that they are not going to honor those commitments,” said Mnuchin, who will meet Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih while in Riyadh.


Third annual Misk Global Forum launches with its youngest event in its short history

Updated 15 min 41 sec ago
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Third annual Misk Global Forum launches with its youngest event in its short history

RIYADH: The third annual Misk Global Forum opened Wednesday in Riyadh, with opening remarks by the forum’s executive manager, Shaima Hamidaddin.

The two-day event brings young leaders, creators and thinkers together to discuss the future, the challenges it holds and change.

“What does the future look like, in a world where everything is changing?” So began the opening video montage at the third annual Misk Global Forum on Wednesday, with the theme “Skills for Our Tomorrow.”

“We want you to be inspired, not just by our speakers, but by your fellow guests,” said Shaima Hamidaddin, the forum’s executive manager, in her opening remarks, inviting delegates to a series of skills garages and majlises. She was introduced by Waem Al-Dakheel, the first woman to anchor the main evening news on Saudi TV at the Saudi Broadcast Authority.

Hamidaddin asked for a show of hands from different parts of the world, showing that there were delegates from every continent except Antarctica (and she said the forum would work on that for next year). She then asked for a show of hands for those under the age of 35, pointing out that this is the youngest Misk Global Forum yet, with youth and women on every panel.

Hamidaddin pointed out that through technology, we are already more globally connected than ever before, but urged people to collaborate and interact with the speakers and guests from different cultures at the forum. “We must seize the opportunity for uniquely human collaboration,” she said.