Journalist's disappearance: S. Arabia rejects threats (Lead, Changing Dateline)

15 October, 2018, 09:59 | Author: Darnell Patrick
  • A member of security exits the Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul Oct. 12 2018

Two leading Senate Republicans on Sunday threatened tough punitive action by Congress against Saudi Arabia, including a possible halt of military sales, if missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi was indeed killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The drop in the Tadawul exchange in Riyadh happened Sunday, the first day of trading.

So far, administration officials have also expressed reluctance to canceling participation in Saudi Arabia's signature economic forum, the Future Investment Initiative.

He also brushed aside the apparent threats from the oil-rich kingdom of economic retaliation if the US were to impose strict measures and said Mnuchin intends to attend the Saudi conference to address terrorist financing.

"No matter how important they might be to our Iranian strategy, our ability to be a voice for human rights.is undermined and compromised if we are not willing to confront something as atrocious as what's allegedly happened here", Rubio said.

Asked whether Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gave an order to kill him, Trump said "nobody knows yet, but we'll probably be able to find out".

Sen. Marco Rubio promised a "strong congressional response" against Saudi Arabia if the country is found to be responsible for the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

U.S. treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin on Sunday was second-guessing his stated intention to attend an economic conference in Saudi Arabia, following the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The Wall Street Journal reported that Dimon has backed out.

Turkish officials have said they believe Khashoggi was killed inside the mission and claims have been leaked to media that he was tortured and even dismembered.


Khashoggi hasn't been seen since he entered the consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to pick up a document for his upcoming wedding.

"Markets start to price in a fundamental change in the nature of the relationship between the USA and Saudi Arabia", said Jaap Meijer, managing director and head of equity research at Arqaam Capital. The U.S. provides weaponry, intelligence and logistical support for the bombing campaign.

But the President all but ruled out cancelling US$110 billion in United States 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.

Trump added, "We're going to get to the bottom of it, and there will be severe punishment".

The Saudi delegation, whose composition was not immediately clear, is expected to meet with Turkish officials in Ankara at the weekend, state media said on Friday.

Former foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind called on Britain to impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia. Rather, if Saudis face "political pressures" such as accusations or sanctions, "the outcome of these weak endeavors, like their predecessors, is a demise".

"We can confirm. that Jamie will not be attending the Saudi event", a JP Morgan spokesperson said in an email to the BBC on Monday.

Khashoggi has written extensively for the Post about Saudi Arabia, criticizing its war in Yemen, its recent diplomatic spat with Canada and its arrest of women's rights activists after the lifting of a ban on women driving.

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