Virgin Group founder Richard Branson has suspended a $1 billion investment project with Saudi Arabia due to the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
Branson made the announcement Thursday as U.S. senators sparked an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the mystery of the missing U.S. resident and Saudi critic.
“What has reportedly happened in Turkey around the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, if proved true, would clearly change the ability of any of us in the West to do business with the Saudi Government,” Branson said in a statement.
“We have asked for more information from the authorities in Saudi and to clarify their position in relation to Mr Khashoggi.”
The Saudi government announced its intention to invest $1 billion into Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit last year, according to CNBC.
Khashoggi vanished Oct. 2 after he went to the consulate in Istanbul to get paperwork so he could marry a Turkish citizen.
On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of senators sent a letter to President Donald Trump that requires him to determine whether Saudi Arabia is responsible for killing Khashoggi.
The result could result in U.S. sanctions against the Saudi regime.
Referring to possible sanctions against Saudi Arabian on Thursday, Trump that he is “not be in favor of stopping a country from spending $110 billion and letting Russia and China have that money.”
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