Kudlow defends Mnuchin's Saudi Arabia trip amid search for missing journalist

15 Octubre, 2018, 20:27 | Author: Arnold Perez
  • Footage Journalist Jamal Khashoggi walking into the Saudi Consulate on Tuesday October 2

Trump said Monday the Saudis told him they are working closely with Turkey to find an answer.

Trump said that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was on his way to Saudi Arabia within the hour to discuss the controversy over journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a contributor to The Washington Post and critic of powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

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

"Saudi Arabia threatening oil flows at a time when the U.S.is implementing sanctions on Iran exports in coordination with Saudi Arabia shows the tenuous position oil markets are in", he said.

The statement did not elaborate.

The anxieties were exacerbated by an opinion piece penned by Turki Al Dakhil, who heads the state-owned Arabiya news network and is close to the Royal Court, in which he openly talked about using oil as a weapon.

It's unclear, however, whether Saudi Arabia would be willing to unilaterally cut production.

The Arab News' headline was above a front-page editorial by Dubai-based real-estate tycoon Khalaf al-Habtoor, calling on Gulf Arab nations to boycott worldwide firms now backing out of a planned economic summit in Riyadh later this month. "This has raised concerns that the Saudis may use oil as a tool for retaliation if any sanctions or other action is taken against it", Patterson said.

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

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Uber's absence carries a special sting, given both the size of the Saudi investment and its significance for the kingdom's economic reform plans. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon; and Ford Motor Co.

Separately, Reuters news agency on Monday reported that Turkish police were in possession of an audio recording that indicates Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, citing two anonymous officials.

Late Sunday, Saudi King Salman spoke by telephone with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about Khashoggi.

As the United States and Turkey have ratched up pressure on the kingdom, Saudi companies, officials and princes have also gone online in a wave of solidarity with the ruling family.

Prince Mohammed has aggressively pitched the kingdom as a destination for foreign investment.

But concern over the disappearance has seen media organizations and a growing number of attendees pull out of a "Davos in the Desert" investment conference set for October 23-25, which has become the biggest show for investors to promote Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's reform vision.

Investors have taken fright, prompting Saudi stocks to tumble by around seven percent at one point on Sunday, wiping out their gains for 2018.

Japanese SoftBank's shares also took a dive on Monday, falling by almost seven percent over fears for its major financial ties with Saudi Arabia.

On Monday, shares in SoftBank skidded more than 7 per cent on the Tokyo stock exchange.

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