Saudis Vow To Retaliate With 'Greater Action' If Hit With Sanctions


Trump pledged unspecified "severe punishment" in a "60 Minutes" interview airing Sunday should the USA determine Saudi involvement in the disappearance of Khashoggi, who had written columns critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

President Donald Trump has declared the US will uncover the truth about what happened to journalist and USA resident Jamal Khashoggi, whose possible murder at Saudi hands after disappearing in Istanbul has captured worldwide attention.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is still scheduled to attend the October 23 Future Investment Initiative in Saudi Arabia, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Fox News.

Turkish media have widely reported that intelligence officials believe Khashoggi was murdered and dismembered inside the consulate by a Saudi hit squad.

"In this spirit, light must be shed on the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi", it said, indicating all three countries were treating the matter "with the utmost seriousness".

In the first Saudi ministerial reaction to the accusations about Khashoggi's killing, Interior Minister Prince Abdel Aziz bin Saud bin Nayef said that "what has been circulating about orders to kill him are lies and baseless allegations". "He (Trump) will take action".

But speaking to 60 minutes on Saturday, he warned the U.S. would be "very upset and angry" if the Saudis ordered Mr Khashoggi's killing.

"So, we do that, we really are hurting our country a lot more than we're hurting Saudi Arabia".

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

According to a prince belonging to Saudi Royal family, 5 members of the Royal family who raised voice against the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi have been put in jail.

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In a column published just after the SPA statement, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya channel's General Manager Turki Aldakhil warned that imposing sanctions on the world's largest oil exporter could spark global economic disaster.

Saudi Arabia Sunday warned against threats to punish it over last week's disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as European and US allies piled on pressure.

And in what could be an even bigger withdrawal from the event, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is now weighing whether to attend - after saying last week he did plan to go.

This begs the question: just why is the US government involved in arms sales?

Before Saturday's comments, Trump had been reluctant to criticise Saudi Arabia and had said on Thursday that he was against cancelling the $110-billion US-Saudi arms deal over the journalist's disappearance.

Saudi Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman "freaked out" in August at Canada's criticism of its crackdown on female human rights activists, showing New Zealand would be running risks if it issued any snubs, he said.

As for the Saudi-Turkey investigation into Khashoggi, I expect it to go along national lines.

He said any response to Khashoggi's killing "needs to be strong, not symbolic", including the possibility of cutting off USA weapons sales to Riyadh, or it would undermine the U.S.'s moral standing in the world.

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