2. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Malak Harb, The Associated Press journalist: ++PART OVERLAID WITH THE SHOTS 3 to 4++
"The Future Investment Initiative opened in Saudi Arabia with pledges of 50 billion (US) dollars in deals, despite a number of businessmen and world leaders withdrawing from the conference over the killing of Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi. It is worth noting however that most deals were not signed with American or European companies. Saudi's Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, attended the conference, in his first public appearance in front of an international audience since the killing of Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The forum is the Prince's attempt to attract foreign investment and create jobs for its youth, which the Kingdom desperately needs. However the forum was overshadowed by Khashoggi's death on 2 October and an air of anxiety among European and American participants. Turkish officials have said the writer was killed by a Saudi hit team of 15 men, including a member of the Prince's entourage. Saudi Arabia has said the team acted alone, without providing any evidence. From the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh, I'm Malak Harb, Associated Press."
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - 23 October, 2018
3. Various of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the conference
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - 24 October, 2018
4. Various of delegates and attendees at the conference
A Saudi Arabia economic forum is being seen as a test for the country to attract foreign investment amid the international outcry over the killing of its journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.
Economists say the kingdom needs trillions of dollars in investments to create millions of new jobs for young Saudis entering the workforce in the coming years and the investment forum is aimed at attracting investors to help underwrite that effort.
But in the wake of Khashoggi's slaying, many international business leaders and Western officials have pulled out of the forum.
The event's first day saw several speakers acknowledge the killing of the Saudi writer whose columns criticised the crown prince's crackdown on dissent.
Dozens of Saudi activists, writers, clerics and even women who were behind calls for the right to drive have been detained.
At one summit session, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih described Khashoggi's slaying as "abhorrent."
Still, the event proved it could draw investments with 55 billion US dollars in agreements pledged, much of that focused on Saudi Arabia's lucrative energy industry.
Saudi Arabia is one of the world's largest exporters of oil, has the Arab world's largest economy and is a key emerging market.
Rather than cancel their participation altogether, some companies sent mid-level executives to keep lines of communication and business open with Saudi Arabia.
There was a strong showing from Russian, Asian and African nations at the forum.
Several participants in attendance from the US, including a hedge fund manager and staff from a US desalination company, declined to speak with The Associated Press at the forum, reflecting a general nervousness among American business people who were in attendance.
The forum's subdued atmosphere received a jolt Tuesday when Prince Mohammed made a brief appearance and received a standing ovation from the audience.
He was followed around by a crowd of mostly young Saudi men trying to catch an up-close glimpse of their country's most powerful prince. He even posed for selfies.