Turkey to search Saudi consulate after Erdogan, king talk

Jeannie Matthews
October 17, 2018

That a landmark event which will see senior figures from the ruling class of the nation mingle with multinational corporations and figures from the finance world with a view to accelerating investment in the country, but has hit trouble after a diplomatic crisis over the disappearance of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last week.

Saudi Arabia on Sunday thanked Washington for not rushing to conclusions as the probe continues into the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Prince Khaled al-Faisal, a senior member of Saudi Arabia's ruling family and adviser to King Salman, has met Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to discuss Khashoggi's disappearance, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter.

The index suffered its biggest intraday decline since December 2014, when oil prices were crashing, with the Gulf region's biggest petrochemical producer, Saudi Basic Industries, tumbling as much as 7.9 percent, Reuters said.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, was last heard from on October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to gather some documents for his upcoming wedding.

While expressing support for joint Saudi-Turkish efforts to look into his disappearance, they said the Saudi government must provide "a complete and detailed response", indicating that such a message had been conveyed "directly" to Riyadh.

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On Monday, Saudi Arabia's currency fell to its lowest level in two years over fears that foreign investment inflows could shrink. Authorities there believe he was killed in the building by Saudi agents, which Riyadh has dismissed as "lies".

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But in a strongly worded op-ed published later on Sunday, Turki Aldakhil, general manager of the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya news channel, warned that if the USA imposed sanctions on Riyadh "it will stab its own economy to death", cause oil prices to reach as high as $200 a barrel, lead Riyadh to permit a Russian military base in the city of Tabuk, and drive the Middle East into the arms of Iran.

The drop in the Tadawul exchange in Riyadh happened Sunday, the first day of trading. While Saudi Arabia and Turkey have already said they would cooperate in a joint investigation, this would be a separate inquiry, the official said. Trump also told reporters Saturday that there would be "very powerful" repercussions if Saudi Arabia is found to be responsible. In response, executives at some major USA companies announced they would no longer attend the "Davos in the Desert" conference hosted by the country.

Where is Jamal Khashoggi?...

Turkish officials say they believe Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi mission and lurid claims suggesting he was tortured and even dismembered have been leaked to the media.

However, he told CBS News on Saturday that the U.S. was investigating the case which he called "really bad and disgusting" and that "there will be severe punishment".

Saudi Arabia's Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz said that the reports are "lies and baseless allegations against the government of the Kingdom", reported CNN.

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