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MIT Chief Decries Khashoggi Killing But Won't Cut Saudi Ties

MIT President Rafael Reif (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
MIT President Rafael Reif (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology will not cut ties with Saudi Arabia following the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

MIT President Rafael Reif announced Wednesday that he's accepting the recommendation of an earlier review that found no "compelling case" to break with the kingdom.

Some students and faculty called on Reif to end all partnerships with Saudi Arabia after Khashoggi's killing inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October.

The school has several research ties with the kingdom, including a five-year, $25 million deal signed last year with the kingdom's national oil company.

Reif says he "utterly condemns" human rights violations including Khashoggi's killing but sees value in working with Saudis who share MIT's values.

He added that the school will carefully assess new partnerships, along with existing ones up for renewal.

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