Saudi dismisses threat of sanctions over Khashoggi

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President Donald Trump vows "severe punishment" if it is discovered that the Saudi Arabian government is behind the disappearance or death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"The kingdom's economy has an influential and vital role in the global economy, and that kingdom's economy is only affected by the global economy".

Saudi Arabia has been under pressure since Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Riyadh and a United States resident, disappeared on October 2 after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

As investors took fright, Saudi stocks tumbled by around 7% at one point on Sunday, wiping out their gains for 2018.

He added: "It's being investigated, it's being looked at very, very strongly".

Mr Trump said: "They are ordering military equipment".

Turkey believes the journalist was deliberately killed in the consulate and his body removed, but Saudi rejects those claims.

With a Washington Post columnist's suspected murdered at the hands of Saudi Arabia, you would expect tough talk from the White House, sanctions, and a series of other gestures aimed at tampering down the tactic of assassinating unkind critics.

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The statement was made amid Turkish media speculation that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman allegedly sought to bring Khashoggi to Saudi Arabia and detain him there.

Turkey has said it has evidence that Khashoggi was tortured and killed in the diplomatic building with a team of 15 men sent over from Saudi Arabia to carry out the murder.

United Kingdom foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt told Saudi Arabia Britain wants urgent answers over the reporter's disappearance.

"If they don't buy it from us, they're going to buy it from Russian Federation or they're going to buy it from China".

However, it puts more pressure on Saudi Arabia to explain what happened to Khashoggi, who has written critically about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, after he walked into the consulate on October 2.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday that Washington was working with Ankara and Riyadh on the investigation, though Turkish officials denied his claim that U.S. investigators were operating inside Turkey. Saudi Arabia has denied that.

Accounts say Khashoggi turned on the sound recording capability on his device as he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Khashoggi's disappearance has already led to many media organizations withdrawing from an upcoming high-profile investment conference in Riyadh, including CNN, CNBC, The New York Times, and The Financial Times. That includes the CEO of Uber, a company in which Saudi Arabia has invested billions of dollars, as well as billionaire Richard Branson. American lawmakers have threated sanctions against the Saudis, and Germany, France and Britain jointly called today for a "credible investigation" into Mr Khashoggi's disappearance.

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