Fox Business Network pulls out as sponsor of Saudi conference


Oct 18 (Reuters) - Fox Business Network said on Thursday it is withdrawing as a sponsor of the Future Investment Initiative Summit to be held in Saudi Arabia next week, joining a host of media companies to drop out after the disappearance of a Saudi journalist.

"FOX Business Network has canceled its sponsorship and participation in the Future Investment Initiative conference in Saudi Arabia. We continue to seek an interview with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman," the network said in a statement.

Pressure has mounted on Saudi Arabia since prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a U.S. resident, Washington Post columnist and critic of Saudi policies, went missing. He was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Turkish officials have said Khashoggi was murdered inside the consulate. Riyadh has said the claims are baseless.

CNN, the Financial Times, the New York Times, CNBC and Bloomberg, as well as reporters and editors from the Economist earlier said they were no longer participating in the conference, which relies heavily on journalists to moderate top sessions.

CNBC and Bloomberg, along with Fox Business Network, were among media partners with a big role at the event, which begins on Oct. 23.

(Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru Editing by Marguerita Choy)