Saudi Arabia has rejected any “threats” of economic sanctions or political pressure after US President Donald Trump warned of punishments if proof emerges journalist Jamal Khashoggi has been killed.
“The kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether through economic sanctions, political pressure or repeating false accusations,” Riyadh said in a statement.
“The kingdom also affirms that if it is [targeted by] any action, it will respond with greater action.”
The disappearance of the Washington Post contributor known for his criticism of Riyadh nearly two weeks ago after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, has caused speculation that Khashoggi has been killed.
The statement from Riyadh came after the Tadawul stock exchange in Riyadh dropped by 7 per cent at one point during the week’s first day of trading, the Independent reported.
Turkey has stated it believes Saudi agents killed and dismembered Khashoggi after he entered the consulate, backing up their claim with audio and video recording they have yet to release.
Riyadh has denied the allegations, calling them “baseless” however has not offered evidence to show Khashoggi ever left the consulate.
U.S. President Donald Trump, in an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” to be aired on Sunday, has said the consequences of Saudi Arabia being involved in the case of the missing journalist would be “severe.”
“There’s something really terrible and disgusting about that, if that was the case, so we’re going to have to see,” Trump noted.
“We’re going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment.”
The efforts of Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, to pitch the kingdom as a destination for foreign investment have been hindered by Khashoggi’s disappearance with several business leaders and media outlets to backing out of a high-profile investment conference set to take place later this month in Riyadh.