Friday, 16 November, 2018

Khashoggi Investigation: Saudi threatens to retaliate against sanctions

Jamal Khashoggi in Manama Bahrain. Turkey claims that Khashoggi who wrote for The Washington Post was killed inside a Saudi diplomatic mission in Turkey Hasan Jamali File AP
Nellie Chapman | 17 October, 2018, 07:10

"Imposing any type of sanctions on Saudi Arabia by the West will cause the kingdom to resort to other options", he said. "We have conveyed this message directly to the Saudi authorities".

Saudi Arabia firmly denies any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance and says he left the consulate that afternoon.

The company did not elaborate on the reasons for Ford's decision not to attend the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh, and did not comment on whether concerns about the disappearance of Khashoggi - a USA resident and Washington Post columnist critical of Riyadh's policies - were a factor. However, a column published in English a short time later by the general manager of the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya satellite news network suggested Saudi Arabia could use its oil production as a weapon.

In a sign Saudi King Salman bin Abdel-Aziz may seek a diplomatic solution to the incident, the monarch stressed the strength of Saudi-Turkish ties in a telephone call with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, the SPA said late Sunday.

The Saudi stock market lost $33bn (€28bn) of its value yesterday amid investor worries about deteriorating global relations, one of the first signs of the economic pain that Riyadh could suffer over the affair.

Other countries in Europe like Britain, Germany and France have issued a joint statement, reported CNN.

He warned that any sanctions would lead to the kingdom's "failure to commit" to specific levels of oil production and "if the price of oil reaching $80 angered President Trump, no one should rule out the price jumping to $100, or $200, or even double that figure".

Stocks have dropped as much as 9 percent since Khashoggi disappeared on 2 October after walking into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

However, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Saturday that Saudi authorities were not cooperating with the investigation into the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and in particular are not letting Turkish prosecutors into the consulate building.

The Washington Post, citing unidentified USA and Turkish officials, reported that Turkey had told US officials it has audio and video recordings that prove Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate.

Cengiz said in the article that Khashoggi had been "cheerful" on the morning they traveled together to the consulate, and that the couple had made plans for the rest of their day. Describing the disappearance as a "terrible thing", Trump said the United States would find out what happened to Khashoggi.

Cengiz added that she had seen reports President Trump wanted to invite her to the White House.

In an interview to be aired Sunday, Trump told CBS' "60 Minutes" that "We're going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment".

Khashoggi had been a press critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Saudi embassy in Washington later said Al Dakhil didn't represent the official position of the kingdom and Saudi officials, speaking privately, said there wasn't a change in the long-held policy that oil and politics don't mix.