Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Saudi Arabia Vows Retaliation if Punished over Missing Critic

Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Saudi Arabia's sharp response to Canada shows the limits of reforms by Mohammed bin Salman. AAP
Russell Knight | 15 October, 2018, 20:25

"If the Saudis are involved, if Khashoggi was killed or harmed or whatever, bad outcome here".

Already, worldwide business leaders are pulling out of the kingdom's upcoming investment forum, a high-profile event known as "Davos in the Desert", though it has no association with the World Economic Forum.

Reports suggest an assault and struggle took place in the consulate after Mr Khashoggi went to get paperwork for his forthcoming marriage.

"He said that they are working closely with Turkey to find answer", Trump continued in this morning's tweet, ignoring Turkey's remarks to the contrary, though today, almost two weeks after Khashoggi vanished, Saudis are allowing Turkish forensic authorities into the consulate for the first time.

A Saudi dissident in Quebec said on Sunday he believes the kingdom hacked his phone and listened to calls he had with Jamal Khashoggi prior to the journalist's disappearance.

Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian citizen and USA resident who works for the Washington Post, was critical of Saudi's Prince Mohammed bin Salman's practices.

Speaking to reporters on the White House lawn Monday, Trump repeatedly noted Saudi Arabia's denial of alleged killing was "very strong", even adding that Khashoggi could have been murdered by "rogue killers".

Oil rose in early trading, with Brent crude, the global benchmark, rising as much 2 per cent to US$81.92 a barrel. "Secretary Mnuchin should immediately cancel his upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia and after a two year delay, the Trump Administration should finally nominate a U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia".

It's unclear, however, whether Saudi Arabia would be willing to unilaterally cut production.

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Brennan Walker had gotten lost on his way to school and stopped by the Zeigler residence to ask for directions. After viewing it a second time, he said he was "charged up, because I was offended by what I had seen".

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.

Trump visited the kingdom on his first overseas trip as president and has touted arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

After an initial silence, Riyadh said Khashoggi had left the consulate safely and then at the weekend denied as "baseless" claims that orders were given to have him killed.

Early on Saturday, the state-run Saudi Press Agency published a statement from Saudi Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud again denying the kingdom's involvement.

"If US sanctions are imposed on Saudi Arabia, we will be facing an economic disaster that would rock the entire world", Turki Aldakhil, the general manager of Saudi Arabia-based Al Arabiya television wrote in an op-ed.

The withdrawal of Uber's Khosrowshahi from the event is particularly symbolic as the kingdom's vast Public Investment Fund (PIF) has invested $3.5 billion in the ride-hailing app.

Prince Mohammed, King Salman's son, has aggressively pitched the kingdom as a destination for foreign investment.

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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