Saudi Arabia says it will respond to any economic sanctions

Daniel Fowler
October 15, 2018

Saudi Arabia has rejected any "threats" of economic sanctions or political pressure from the global community over the case of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to a report from state news agency SPA.

Trump said he would be calling King Salman of Saudi Arabia to discuss the Khashoggi matter. Turkey's government believes he was deliberately killed inside the building and his body removed.

His Sunday remarks came in sharp contrast to what the American president had said only a day earlier on Saturday, when he vowed "severe punishment" if Saudi Arabia is proven to be behind the purported assassination of Khashoggi.

But the President all but ruled out cancelling US$110 billion in USA arms sales to Saudi Arabia, arguing that doing so would be "very foolish for our country" and only end up harming U.S. defence industries and others. It comes as one of the first signs of the economic pain that Riyadh could suffer over the suspected murder.

The writer, an advocate for reform and a thorn in the side of the country's autocratic Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, left Saudi Arabia a year ago over fears for his safety.

Foreign capital is key to those plans. But Khashoggi's disappearance has led several business leaders and media outlets to back out of the upcoming investment conference in Riyadh called the Future Investment Initiative. Other countries have also threatened sharp reactions to possible killing of Khashoggi by Saudi Arabia with the latest instance being remarks by Britain's opposition Labour Party, which announced that it would stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia if it was in government.

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia extends it appreciation to all, including the U.S. administration, for refraining from jumping to conclusions on the ongoing investigation".

Trump, in excerpts released Saturday from an interview to be aired Sunday on CBS's 60 Minutes show, warned there would be "severe punishment" for Saudi Arabia if it is determined that Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi consulate.

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The Saudis have strongly denied any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance.

Turkish authorities say a team of Saudis killed Khashoggi, and United States intelligence intercepts show Saudi officials discussing an operation to lure Khashoggi - a Saudi citizen who had been living in the U.S. - back to Saudi Arabia from his home in Virginia and detain him.

Twenty-two US senators last Wednesday forced a USA investigation of whether human rights sanctions should be imposed over the disappearance of Khashoggi.

He also voiced appreciation for the positions of Saudi Arabia, "which has always supported -and still does - our just cause and the rights of our people".

Turkey's investigation into the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has revealed recordings made on his Apple Watch purportedly indicating he was tortured and killed, a Turkish newspaper reported on Saturday.

Pressure has mounted on the WWE to cancel the event, or change the location of it, following the drama that now surrounds the country of Saudi Arabia.

In an interview Friday with The Associated Press, Cengiz said Khashoggi was not nervous when he entered the consulate to obtain paperwork required for their marriage.

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