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Worldwide pressure mounts on Saudi over journalist disappearance

15 October 2018

A Gulf banker said the Khashoggi case, combined with other events, had become a significant factor for some potential investors in Saudi Arabia and that her bank was receiving many queries from foreign clients on how to interpret it. They include the CEO of Uber, a company in which Saudi Arabia has invested billions of dollars; billionaire Richard Branson; JPMorgan Chase & Co. The Wall Street Journal reports that Dimon has backed out.

And a huge investment conference dubbed "Davos in the Desert", scheduled for later this month, has seen some leading speakers and participants drop out.

Turkey and Saudi Arabia are expected to conduct a joint inspection on Monday of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, almost two weeks after the disappearance of "Washington Post" columnist Jamal Khashoggi, Turkish authorities said.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has said officials will conduct an "inspection" of the consulate on Monday afternoon as it investigates Khashoggi's disappearance.

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

Trump has not described what punishment Saudi Arabia might face.

However, this incident has had immediate repercussions on how foreign investors are looking at Saudi Arabia. But that relationship, he said, "cannot supercede our commitment to human rights".

Turkey has accused Riyadh of killing the reporter inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul - allegations the kingdom rejects.

"I am planning on going at this point", Mnuchin said on Friday of the investment conference, which is slated to start in Riyadh on 23 October.

On Saturday, U.S. President Donald Trump said Saudi Arabia could be behind the disappearance of Khashoggi and warned Washington would inflict "severe punishment" if he was murdered.

"But along with the president and the general investigation, Mr. Mnuchin will make up his mind as the week progresses and as new information surfaces", Mr. Kudlow said. "He (Trump) will take action".

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The Saudis themselves are warning they'll respond to any "threats" against the kingdom. Russian Federation wanted it, China wanted it, we wanted it.

Jamal Khashoggi walking into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Saudi Arabia does not hesitate to form a joint investigation committee with the Turkish side to uncover the truth, he added.

Rubio called the reports surrounding Khashoggi's disappearance "unacceptable", adding that the US should "never accept that from anyone in the world".

'We encourage joint Saudi-Turkish efforts in that regard, and expect the Saudi Government to provide a complete and detailed response'.

While the statement did not directly refer to Khashoggi or Trump, it came a day after the president vowed to "get to the bottom" of the journalist's disappearance in an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes". "There are plenty of other countries that would want to buy arms from us", Rubio said.

The senior Turkish official also said he suspected Saudi was preparing to "throw someone under the bus".

The recordings purportedly indicated that the prominent Saudi journalist was tortured and killed at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul, according to the Turkish Sabah daily.

Reuters reported, citing a company statement, that the largest bank in the USA did not clarify whether Dimon's decision was directly affected by the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance.

Trump said "nobody knows yet" what happened inside the consulate, "but we'll probably be able to find out" if Salman ordered Khashoggi's murder.

Turkish police have begun probing a claim that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's body could be "evaporated" using acid inside his country's consulate in Istanbul, local media reported October 15.

Worldwide pressure mounts on Saudi over journalist disappearance