Saudi Arabia government pledges ‘greater action’ if USA retaliates for Khashoggi disappearance

Oct 15, 2018, 13:19
Saudi Arabia government pledges ‘greater action’ if USA retaliates for Khashoggi disappearance

Turkey believes he was murdered inside the building by a 15-person "assassination squad", with the government saying it has video and audio evidence proving he was killed at the consulate.

The Kingdom "is committed to its principles, rules and traditions and is in compliance with worldwide laws and conventions", he added according to the official Saudi Press Agency.

The event is being hosted by the kingdom's Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman to promote his reform agenda.

This message had been conveyed "directly to the Saudi authorities", said the statement, signed by Britain´s foreign minister Jeremy Hunt, his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian and Germany´s Heiko Maas.

However, President Trump in the same interview said: "As of this moment, they deny it and they deny it vehemently".

It is feared the Washington Post columnist, who lived in the United States, was killed and dismembered when he visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

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However, he told CBS News on Saturday that the USA was investigating the case which he called "really bad and disgusting" and that "there will be severe punishment".

Shares in Saudi Arabia plunged as the fallout over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi got worse over the weekend.

In a statement on Sunday, the kingdom said it rejected any threats of economic sanctions or political pressure and would retaliate accordingly.

Saudi Arabia appears to be increasingly cornered.

The three countries also called for Saudi Arabia and Turkey to jointly work on the investigation and for Riyadh to give a detailed response to the murder accusation put forward by Istanbul.

President Trump made a point of visiting the kingdom on his first overseas trip as president and has touted arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

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"The Kingdom also affirms that if it receives any action, it will respond with greater action, and that the Kingdom's economy has an influential and vital role in the global economy is affected only by the impact of the global economy", the statement further added.

Business barons including British billionaire Richard Branson and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, as well as media powerhouses like Bloomberg and CNN, have all pulled out.

But US senators have triggered a provision of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act requiring the president to determine whether a foreign person is responsible for a gross human rights violation.

This statement came after the Saudi stock market plunged by almost 7 percent at one point on Sunday.

By the close, the market had recovered some of its losses, ending down 3.5 percent.

Earlier in the day, Ford Motor Chairman Bill Ford has also cancelled an upcoming trip to the Riyadh business conference.

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Saudi stocks dropped as much as 7 per cent, the most since 2014, on concerns that relations with the USA may sour, before trimming losses to close 3.5 per cent down.