Virgin’s Branson halts talks on $1 billion Saudi investment in space ventures

Science

(Reuters) – British billionaire Richard Branson said on Thursday that his Virgin Group would suspend its discussions with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund over a planned $1 billion investment in the group’s space ventures, in light of events involving missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Richard Branson listens to speeches as he is inducted into the Flight Path Walk of Fame at Los Angeles Airport Flight Path Museum, highlighting his accomplishments in aviation and aerospace in Los Angeles, California, U.S. March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake

“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.

Branson also said he would suspend his directorship in two Saudi tourism projects around the Red Sea, citing the disappearance of Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist.

Reporting by Gaurika Juneja in Bengaluru

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