US, Saudi Arabia on economic collision course

Jeannie Matthews
October 16, 2018

Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Monday ordered an internal probe into the unexplained disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi as a joint Turkish-Saudi team was expected at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul where the journalist and dissident was last seen on October 2.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Sunday defended Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin's intention to attend a summit in Saudi Arabia later this month despite the kingdom's involvement in the case of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

They were published shortly after a report in the Washington Post - for whom Mr Khashoggi worked - cited U.S. government officials who believed that audio recordings proved he had been murdered while visiting the Saudi embassy.

"The king firmly denied any knowledge of it", Trump told reporters after speaking with King Salman.

Speaking in Toronto Monday, Trudeau said Canada will not be silenced by human rights abusers like Saudi Arabia and its leader, Mohammad Bin Salman - the young crown prince who has sought to modernize his deeply religious country but has bristled at criticism from overseas.

Khashoggi went missing on October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, to obtain a license to marry his Turkish fiancée.

Saudi Arabia is facing mounting pressure from the White House and other Western countries to provide answers over the missing Washington Post columnist and US resident.

Manchester United did not comment on Monday night about reports that Saudi Arabia is interested in buying the club.

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"If the trend we saw last week continues, it is going to be very hard for Europe to rally". The kingdom has called the allegations of foul play "baseless" but has offered no evidence the writer left the consulate.

Aleksandar Mitreski, a security and defence analyst, said Saudi Arabia cannot control the global narrative but can try to alleviate the most damaging fallout. Pointing out that Russia and China were ready to step in, he added that "no one can deny that repercussions of these sanctions will include a Russian military base in Tabuk, northwest of Saudi Arabia, in the heated four corners of Syria, Israel, Lebanon and Iraq".

Two more Washington lobbying firms also dropped their representation of Saudi Arabia on Monday. Turkey said Erdogan "stressed the forming of a joint working group to probe the case".

Saudi Arabia has warned that it would retaliate against any punishment with even greater measures.

"We can confirm. that Jamie will not be attending the Saudi event", a JP Morgan spokesperson said in an email to the BBC on Monday.

Ford Motor Co Chairman Bill Ford also pulled out, as well as media organizations like CNN and Bloomberg which once served as sponsors of the conference.

Saudi Arabia's Arab allies have rushed to its support.

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