Saudi Arabia’s stock market plunges on fear of sanctions over missing journalist
With pressure mounting on President Donald Trump to take action over the suspected murder, he said Saturday that the United States would be “punishing itself” if it halted weapons sales to Saudi Arabia.
Khashoggi, a USA resident and Washington Post columnist critical of Riyadh’s policies, disappeared on October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Turkish officials fear he was killed and dismembered.
With the explosive claim by Turkish authorities that Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi leadership, was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Turkey on October 2, several major US business leaders and media companies have withdrawn from the investors conference set for later this month.
The threat caused the stock market of the world’s biggest oil exporter to lose as much as billion of its value on Sunday in one of the first signs of the economic pain that Riyadh could suffer over the affair.
These measures include using sales of oil and arms, exchange of information between Riyadh and Washington, and a possible reconciliation with regional arch-rival Iran, said the report. The market clawed back some of the losses, closing down 3.5 per cent for the day.
John Brennan, the former Central Intelligence Agency director who previously served as a Central Intelligence Agency station chief in Saudi Arabia, said Sunday during an appearance on “Meet the Press” that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has become “emboldened” to be more aggressive by his relationship with Trump and Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and a top White House aide. Still, Trump said the US would be “foolish” to cancel large arms deals with the Gulf state. In a tweet, Senator Paul said, “the Saudis will keep killing civilians and journalists as long as we keep arming and assisting them”.
Arab and Muslim leaders expressed on Sunday, solidarity with Saudi Arabia, affirming its leading role in establishing security, stability, peace and enhancing economic cooperation in the region and the world.
The event is being hosted by the kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman to promote his reform agenda.
He said the government of Saudi Arabia is “committed to its principles, rules and traditions and is in compliance with worldwide laws and conventions”.
Several sponsors and media groups have made a decision 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.
“I don’t think any of our government officials should be going and pretending it’s business as usual until we know what’s happened here, ” said Rubio, R-Fla.
“Defending freedom of expression and a free press and ensuring the protection of journalists are key priorities for Germany, the United Kingdom and France”, the statement read. Riyadh denied any involvement in the disappearance of Khashoggi, claiming that the journalist left the consulate of his own accord.
The king thanked Erdogan for welcoming a Saudi proposal to form a joint working group to discuss Khashoggi’s disappearance and said no one could undermine their relationship.
If the reports of Jamal Khashoggi’s abduction, murder, and dismemberment at the hands of a Saudi kill team dispatched to Istanbul prove correct, his death might achieve what years of abuses by a despotic government have failed to: a meaningful rebuke by the USA and its Western allies.
Two weeks later, they’ve yet to go public or release conclusive evidence.
“What has been circulating about orders to kill (Khashoggi) are lies and baseless allegations against the government of the kingdom, which is committed to its principles, rules and traditions and is in compliance with worldwide laws and conventions”, Prince Abdulaziz said.