Saudi consulate to be searched after Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance

Brian Snyder  ReutersSen. Jeff Flake speaks at the Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College in Manchester N.H. Oct. 1 2018

Brian Snyder ReutersSen. Jeff Flake speaks at the Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College in Manchester N.H. Oct. 1 2018

Saudi Arabia's shares plunged as much as 7 percent on Sunday as investors anxious about deteriorating relations with the worldwide community after the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The journalist, who had been critical of Prince Mohammed, was last seen walking into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

But the oil-rich kingdom has found itself threatened with "severe punishment" by U.S. president Donald Trump over the disappearance this month of Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist critical of Saudi authorities. The article begins by noting that Silicon Valley startups such as WeWork, DoorDash, Wag, and Slack all wouldn't exist without investments from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

"There needs to be a credible investigation to establish the truth about what happened, and - if relevant - to identify those bearing responsibility for the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, and ensure that they are held to account", the foreign ministers from the three countries said in a joint statement.

Saudi Arabia is also one of the key markets for Uber in the Middle East.

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.

In a column published just after the SPA statement, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya channel's general manager Turki Aldakhil warned that imposing sanctions on the world's largest oil exporter could spark global economic disaster.

Turkish media have widely reported that intelligence officials believe Khashoggi was murdered and dismembered inside the consulate by a Saudi hit squad.

Mr Aldakhil added that Saudi arms purchases from the United States and other trade could be at risk as well.

On Friday, a source familiar with the ongoing investigation told CNN that Turkish authorities have audio and visual evidence that Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate.

In an interview with "60 Minutes" airing Sunday, US President Donald Trump pledged "severe punishment" if the US concludes that Saudi agents killed Khashoggi, a US resident, and said that the incident is being investigated.

The Swiss government could decide on a case-by-case basis whether to impose economic sanctions on Saudi Arabia, a SECO spokesman said.

Investment in sport has proved a viable option for those two oil-rich gulf states looking to project soft power and improve the global prestige of their nations overseas and, it's claimed, Saudi Arabia are set to look to do the same.

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