Saudi Arabia government pledges ‘greater action’ if U.S. retaliates for Khashoggi disappearance

European nations are pressuring Saudi Arabia to give a response to the missing Saudi journalist.

Trump has vowed "severe punishment" should Saudi Arabia be linked to the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, who hasn't been seen since he entered the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain a document for his upcoming wedding.

"We encourage joint Saudi-Turkish efforts in that regard, and expect the Saudi Government to provide a complete and detailed response". He added, "We heard about Khashoggi going missing the day before we were supposed to leave, two days before, but the next day was when we had to go and it just didn't feel like a smart move".

Turkish authorities claim to have evidence that Khashoggi, a United States resident and columnist for the Washington Post, was murdered inside the consulate - an accusation the kingdom strenuously denies.

Saudi Arabia said on Sunday that it rejected any "threats" of economic or political pressure after President Donald Trump warned of "severe punishment" if it turns out Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The statement was issued as global concern grew over the writer who vanished on a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul over a week ago.

He told CBS: "We're going to get to the bottom of it".

The Turkish leadership has so far stopped short of accusing Saudi Arabia, although pro-government media have published sensational claims, including that an "assassination team" was sent to Istanbul to kill Khashoggi.

Khashoggi disappeared over a week ago while on a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, sparking an global uproar involving the Kingdom, Turkey and the United States that remains unresolved.

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Saudi insists Khashoggi, who entered the consulate for paperwork for his marriage to his Turkish fiancee, left the building safely but has yet to offer visual evidence of this.

The plan, known as Vision 2030 and spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, aims to increase foreign investment, boost tourism and grow the private sector.

"The recent disappearance of Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi suggests that he could be a victim of a gross violation of internationally recognized human rights", almost two dozen senators explained in their letter to the president.

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

In the US, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Saudi Arabia should take Trump´s warning over the journalist´s fate seriously.

The American daily further reported that U.S. intelligence had intercepted communications between Saudi officials discussing a plan to lure Khashoggi back to the kingdom and detain him.

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

Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Counselor Ahmed Hafez, said Egypt is following with concern the repercussions of the case of Khashoggi, and stressed the importance of revealing the truth of the matter through a transparent investigation, while emphasizing the gravity of pre-empting investigations and directing groundless accusations.

On Friday, Sanders said in a post on Twitter that a reevaluation of the relationship between the USA and Saudi Arabia is "long overdue".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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