Published: Wed, October 17, 2018
Markets | By Jeffery Armstrong

Saudi consulate to be searched after Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance

Saudi consulate to be searched after Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance

Saudi state owned Al-Arabiya news channel delivered a bullish message to the U.S. and the global community in response to growing calls for sanctions against Riyadh over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The statements from Europe follow warnings from US President Donald Trump, who said the alleged crime had "something really awful and disgusting" about it.

The U.S. administration increasingly regards Saudi Arabia's denial of any involvement in the journalist's disappearance as untenable, and Trump and his aides are more and more convinced that he died after entering the consulate, according to three U.S. officials who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.

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Turkish authorities believe 15 Saudi men who arrived in Istanbul on October 2 were connected to Khashoggi's disappearance and possible killing.

The Saudi foreign ministry said King Salman affirmed his country's "solid" relations with Turkey in the phone call with Erdogan, stressing that no one could undermine their relationship. Britain, France and Germany, which have also tended to prioritize economic ties with Riyadh, issued a joint statement saying they "expect the Saudi government to provide a complete and detailed response". Trump said there would be no United States sanctions on the oil-rich kingdom, claiming that the Saudi's were spending $110 billion (€95 billion) on USA military equipment. SoftBank and Saudi Arabia said in March they would build the world's biggest solar power generation project.

The Saudi warnings came after the country's stock market fell as much as 7% on Sunday amid fears of sanctions.

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But Riyadh vowed to hit back on Sunday against any punitive measures while Trump has also made clear he is reluctant to curb all-important arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Cengiz, a doctoral student at a university in Istanbul, wrote: "If the allegations are true, and Jamal has been murdered by the errand boys of Mohammed bin Salman, he is already a martyr". In response, executives at some major US companies announced they would no longer attend the "Davos in the Desert" conference hosted by the country. Saudi authorities last week agreed to let Turkish officials search the consulate after Ankara sought permission to probe the building on Saudi sovereign territory. Turkey said Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, while Saudi Arabia said the journalist left unharmed.

"We're going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment", he told CBS News.

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Saudi Arabia is the biggest investor in Softbank's $100 billion Vision Fund, which owns stakes in WeWork, brokerage Compass, property insurer Lemonade, and construction company Katerra, among other firms.

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