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Steve Mnuchin Makes Salient Move in Sticky Saudi Situation

With all Hell set to break loose in the middle east, the Trump administration is making sure to cross their t’s and dot their i’s.

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With all Hell set to break loose in the middle east, the Trump administration is making sure to cross their t’s and dot their i’s.

The US relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a strange one, indeed.  Given the Saudis exorbitant wealth, both in resources and cash, it pays for nations around the globe to play nice with the middle eastern monarchy.  The problem, of course, is that Saudi Arabia doesn’t often have to “play nice”, since they seem to be holding a majority of the world’s oil and can dictate the entire global economy with the stroke of a pen.

Now that it is becoming clear that Saudi Arabia was intimately involved in the gruesome and inexcusable torture and murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the United States has several tough decisions to make in how to proceed.  This development has the Trump administration firing on all cylinders, and working to bring the entire organization into harmony.

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Steven Mnuchin’s latest announcement has give us a glimpse into the severity of the issue.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday he has decided against attending a conference in Saudi Arabia this month, amid the uproar over the the presumed death of activist Jamal Khashoggi.

“Just met with @realDonaldTrump and @SecPompeo and we have decided, I will not be participating in the Future Investment Initiative summit in Saudi Arabia,” Mnuchin tweeted.

Mnuchin has been facing calls to cancel his plans to attend after Khashoggi vanished two weeks ago during a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Turkish officials allege Khashoggi was killed and dismembered inside the consulate.

The Future Investment Initiative summit is scheduled for Oct. 23-25 in Riyadh. A number of high-profile people – including leaders from the World Bank, Google and Uber – have also announced plans to drop out.

While the President’s White House has often been light and nonchalant in their narrative, on the subject of Saudi Arabia there seems to be little room for interpretation.  Mnuchin’s announcement, combined with the President’s reserved candor when it comes to discussing the Saudi Royal Family speaks volumes about the tense nature of the situation.

 

 

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