Former US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz is quitting a Saudi mega-project over the monarchy’s possible assassination of a dissident journalist.
According to Press TV, Moniz said Wednesday that he was suspending his role in the proposed city mega-project after the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey.
The secretary of former President Barack Obama had been invited to join an international advisory board for the development of NEOM, worth $500 billion.
“I share the deep concerns of many about the disappearance and possible assassination of Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. … The recent trend in many countries of targeting journalists for doing their jobs is a fundamental threat to freedom of the press, human rights and the rule of law,” he said. “In particular, I have been asked to offer guidance on achieving zero net greenhouse gas emissions. Success with this vision will have global implications for a low-carbon future.”
Khashoggi was last seen late last week after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where Turkish officials insist that he was killed inside the facility, an allegation denied by Saudi officials.
The Turkish Daily Sabah has released the identities of the Saudi operatives, who had apparently travelled from Riyadh to Istanbul on two private jets and entered the Saudi mission on October 2 as Khashoggi entered the building.