Saudis threaten global economic repercussions if punished for 'murdered' journalist

Members of Human Rights Association hold portraits of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a demonstration in front of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul

World War 3: Donald Trump vows ‘severe punishment’ if Saudi Arabia murdered journalist

On Sunday, Riyadh restated its "total rejection of any threats or attempts to undermine it" through threats, sanctions, or political pressure.

That prompted a pugnacious Saudi response on Sunday: "The kingdom also affirms that if it is [targeted by] any action, it will respond with greater action".

A delegation of a dozen Saudi officials was in Turkey on Saturday for talks on the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi after Riyadh slammed as "baseless lies" Turkish accusations he was killed inside its Istanbul consulate.

But the President all but ruled out cancelling US$110 billion in USA arms sales to Saudi Arabia, arguing that doing so would be "very foolish for our country" and only end up harming USA defence industries and others.

Investors have also taken fright, prompting Saudi stocks to tumble by around seven percent at one point on Sunday, wiping out their gains for 2018. It comes as one of the first signs of the economic pain that Riyadh could suffer over the suspected murder.

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The Foreign Ministers of the United Kingdom, France and Germany on Sunday expressed serious concerns about the fate of a missing Saudi Arabian journalist and called for an investigation into the case.

Several sponsors and media groups have chose to pull out of this month's investment conference in Riyadh, dubbed Davos in the Desert, as a result of concerns over Mr Khashoggi's fate.

"There's something really awful and disgusting about that, if that was the case, so we're going to have to see", Trump said.

Other executives such as Ford Motor Chairman Bill Ford and Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi also won't attend the conference, according to the Wall Street Journal. Turkey will probably blame Saudi Arabia more for the killing - while the Saudis will say they weren't directly involved.

The relationship with Saudi Arabia is important to Wall Street executives like Dimon because the country is a major investor around the world and does significant business with Western financial firms.

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Senators from both sides of the aisle have called for an investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance, and some have suggested they would be willing to block the Saudi arms deal if more damaging details come to light.

Saudi Arabia on Sunday rejected any worldwide threat and "attempts to undermine it" following the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi after he visited the Gulf kingdom's consulate in Istanbul, earlier this month.

British billionaire Richard Branson on Friday suspended business links with Saudi Arabia.

Turkish officials have said they have audio and video that proves Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul earlier this month. Otherwise, the USA risks losing credibility when it comes to human rights, he told CBS' Face the Nation on Sunday.

As the controversy intensified, the Washington Post reported Turkish officials had recordings made from inside the building that allegedly proved their claims Khashoggi was tortured and killed at the consulate. "I think we would've known by now".

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Trump said that he had invited Khashoggi's fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, to visit him at the White House and that his staff was working out arrangements with her.

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