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Kudlow defends Mnuchin's Saudi Arabia trip amid search for missing journalist

16 October, 2018, 13:02 | Author: Shawna Walton
  • President Donald Trump talks with reporters in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington

President Donald Trump added to the pressure on Saudi Arabia over the fate of Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi, vowing "severe punishment" should the kingdom's leaders be linked to his disappearance. CNN first reported that the Saudis were planning to admit Khashoggi died in the consulate. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson made public their intentions to halt business in Saudi, and the Harbour Group and Brookings Institution have terminated their relationships with the Saudi government, the New York Times reported Saturday.

One source cautioned that the report was still being prepared and could change, CNN said.

King Salman and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke by telephone on Sunday evening, officials said, and stressed the importance of the two countries working together on the case.

President Donald Trump on Monday seemed to indicate that he's buying the Saudi government's blanket denial of being responsible for the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has arrived in Saudi Arabia for talks with King Salman over the disappearance of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as reports emerged that Riyadh was poised to acknowledge that Khashoggi was killed in its 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. "And if that is the case, I do not believe the U.S. should continue to be party to supporting the Saudis in the bloodshed in Yemen - a halt that is long overdue given the humanitarian disaster resulting from that conflict", Durbin said.

Saudi Arabia has pledged to retaliate economically for any USA punitive action.

Turkish officials said they fear a Saudi hit team killed and dismembered Khashoggi, allegations the Saudi kingdom has dismissed as "baseless", however, it has not presented evidence of the journalist leaving the consulate.

September 28: Khashoggi visits the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul for the first time to pick up a permission document to marry Cengiz. Saudi officials have been in and out of the building since Khashoggi's disappearance on 2 October without being stopped.

His remarks prompted Saudi Arabia to threaten to use its economic muscle to respond to any punitive measure but Rai al-Youm, a pan-Arab newspaper based in London, said the kingdom might have to ready itself for new "milking" by the US.

JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Jamie Dimon became the most high-profile banker to withdraw from the event on Sunday night.

Turkish sources allege he was killed by a 15-strong team of Saudi agents, but Riyadh insists that he left the consulate unharmed.

Khashoggi often wrote columns critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has considerable weight in the actions of the Riyadh government.

Khashoggi, a familiar face on Arab talk shows, moved to Washington past year fearing retribution for his criticism of Prince Mohammed, who has cracked down on dissent with arrests.

The defections could jeopardize the large feesglobalbanks and investment firms have been earning from the kingdom - and the promise of even bigger business if Saudi Arabia makes good on plans to privatize its oil industry and boost foreign investment in a variety of sectors.

Saudi Arabia's riyal currency retreated overnight to 3.7525 to the dollar - its weakest in two years.

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