October 10, 2018 / 9:00 PM / 8 days ago

Ex-U.S. energy chief Moniz halts Saudi work over journalist's disappearance

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said on Wednesday he has suspended his role on the board of Saudi Arabia’s planned mega city NEOM until more is known about the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who disappeared on Oct. 2 after visiting a Saudi consulate in Turkey.

Ernest Moniz addresses a news conference during the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) general conference in Vienna, Austria September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

Moniz, who served under President Barack Obama, announced his decision in a statement. He was one of 18 people advising the $500 billion NEOM project. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman said last week the NEOM business zone will build two to three towns each year starting in 2020 and be fully complete by 2025.

Reporting by Timothy Gardner; editing by Grant McCool

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