Turkey to search Saudi consulate in Istanbul for missing journalist on Monday

Roman Schwartz
October 15, 2018

Saudi Arabia's currency fell to its lowest level in two years and its global bond prices slipped on Monday over fears that foreign investment inflows could shrink as Riyadh faces pressure over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The statement also adds that Egypt "warns against the attempts to exploit the case politically against Saudi Arabia based on false accusations" and that "the Egyptian republic asserts its support to the kingdom's efforts in dealing with the situation".

The inspection comes after the disappearance of the Saudi writer, who vanished on October 2 on a visit to the consulate.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and USA permanent resident whose writings have been critical of powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has been missing since entering the country's consulate in Istanbul on Oct 2.

The Saudi consulate referred Reuters to authorities in Riyadh who did not respond to questions about the 15 Saudis. Turkey believes he was murdered and his body removed, while Saudi Arabia has denied the allegations.

Already, worldwide business leaders are pulling out of the kingdom's upcoming investment forum, a high-profile event known as "Davos in the Desert".

The Washington Post, citing unidentified USA and Turkish officials, reported that Turkey had told US officials it has audio and video recordings that prove Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate.

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The Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C., later sought to "clarify" those threats on Twitter, noting that "the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia extends it appreciation to all, including the U.S. administration, for refraining from jumping to conclusions on the ongoing investigation".

Saudi Arabia dismissed threats of sanctions the following day and vowed the oil-rich kingdom would retaliate against such action. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon; and Ford Motor Co. Saudi Arabia insists that Khashoggi left the consulate unharmed but has not allowed Turkish investigators to enter the building. The foreign minister of the neighboring island kingdom of Bahrain, Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, tweeted Sunday night that there should be a boycott of the ride-hailing app both there and in Saudi Arabia. Turkey said Erdogan "stressed the forming of a joint working group to probe the case".

"The kingdom also affirms that if it is (targeted by) any action, it will respond with greater action", it said.

The Saudi stock market had tumbled 7.2 percent over the previous two trading days because of the Khashoggi case, but it rebounded 2.0 percent on Monday.

Khashoggi has written extensively for the Post about Saudi Arabia, criticizing its war in Yemen, its recent diplomatic spat with Canada and its arrest of women's rights activists after the lifting of a ban on women driving.

And Rubio said that no USA government officials should be attending the Saudi conference until they get some official answers about what happened.

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