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Saudi Arabia Warns Of Retaliation On Any Sanctions Over Missing Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| October 15 , 2018 , 12:05 IST

Saudi Arabia has warned that it would retaliate to any sanctions imposed on it over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi amidst threats by US President Donald Trump that there would be "severe punishment" for the nation if Khashoggi was killed.

"The kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats or attempts to undermine it whether through threats to impose economic sanctions or the use of political pressure," an official said on Sunday, according to state news agency SPA.

The official added that Riyadh would "respond to any action with a bigger one", pointing out that Saudi Arabia "plays an effective and vital role in the world economy".

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Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist known to be a Saudi royal critic, disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey's Istanbul on October 2, resulting in reports that he had been murdered. While the Turkish authorities claimed he must have been murdered within the consulate, Saudi Arabia insists that he left safely.

Western companies have been distancing themselves from Saudi Arabia since the reports came out, and Britain, France and Germany released a joint statement saying they were treating Khashoggi's disappearance "with the utmost seriousness".

"There needs to be a credible investigation to establish the truth about what happened, and -- if relevant -- to identify those bearing responsibility for the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, and ensure that they are held to account," the joint statement said.

Meanwhile, other nations from the Middle East have expressed their support to Saudi Arabia, including Oman, Bahrain, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt who have all issued government statements on Sunday in support of Riyadh.