Saudi dismisses threat of sanctions over Khashoggi

Some wore the pink 'pussy hats' that have become a symbol of women's rights and resistance against Donald Trump. Kamil Krzaczynski AFP

Some wore the pink 'pussy hats' that have become a symbol of women's rights and resistance against Donald Trump. Kamil Krzaczynski AFP

"We hope this joint investigation will help in removing all speculations", Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali said replying to a question on Monday at a briefing ahead of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Saudi visit from Tuesday.

Prince Khaled al-Faisal, a senior member of Saudi Arabia's ruling family and senior advisor to King Salman, has met Erdogan to discuss Khashoggi's disappearance, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters without providing details.

Already, global business leaders are pulling out of the kingdom's upcoming investment forum, a high-profile event known as 'Davos in the Desert'.

The development came after Erdogan and King Salman had their first telephone talks since the controversy erupted, in what appeared to be a conciliatory conversation according to official readouts. By close, it had recovered some losses, ending down 3.5 percent and losing $16.5 billion of market value. The kingdom has called the allegations "baseless", but has offered no evidence the writer ever left the consulate.

Earlier last week, Trump said during an interview that he will impose severe punishment if Saudi Arabia is confirmed to be behind Khashoggi's alleged death.

"We don't know for sure what happened and I would say that Khashoggi has also been really critical of the Iranians, that we have - you know the Saudis are - they are among the gulf nations who have together tried to be moderate Arabs in the fight against radical Islam..." "We're going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment". Could it be them?




Salman emphasised the importance of the Turkey-Saudi relationship and said no-one should be able to "undermine the strength of this relationship", official Saudi media said.

Concern over the disappearance has seen a growing number of attendees pull out of a "Davos in the Desert" investment conference set for October 23-25, which has become the biggest show for investors to promote Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's reform vision.

Britain, France and Germany also released a rare joint statement saying they were treating Khashoggi's disappearance "with the utmost seriousness" and calling for a "credible investigation".

Saudi Arabia will retaliate "with even greater action" if the US president goes through with a threat of "severe punishment" should it be proven that Saudi agents killed dissident journalist Jamal Kashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The sales are a "tremendous order for our companies", and if the Saudis don't buy their weaponry from the US, they will get it from others, he said. Later that same day, however, the Saudi embassy in Washington tweeted a clarification that pretty much dismissed the tone of the official source's warning reported by the SPA.

These developments indicate that the United States may not even have to slap Saudi Arabia with sanctions at the government level, as the private sector appears to be more concerned over Khashoggi's mysterious disappearance than the Trump administration itself.

Journalists report from outside the Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018.

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