Saudi Arabia strikes back at U.S. over political rhetoric, threatens oil stability

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Saudi Arabia on Sunday warned against threats to punish it over last week's disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as European leaders piled on pressure and two more United States executives scrapped plans to attend a Saudi investor conference.

Khashoggi, a USA resident and Washington Post columnist critical of Riyadh's policies, disappeared on October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

"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 countries said in a joint statement.

Trump has said he does not want to halt a proposed $110 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia because, he maintained, it would harm USA manufacturers.

"As necessity now arises to clarify the facts associated with this crisis in a neutral and honest manner, we reaffirm our categorical rejection of the repercussions of the politicised anti-Saudi campaign".

"The Kingdom also affirms that if it receives any action, it will respond with greater action", Saudi Arabia's state-run news agency said Sunday, ominously noting that the country plays "an influential and vital role in the global economy".

The statement was issued as global concern grew over the writer who vanished on a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul over a week ago. "That lets us both go faster", Segars said. "I've heard that report but nobody's knows if it's an official report".

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White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow declined to speculate on what Trump might do after the president promised "severe punishment" in a "60 Minutes" interview, if the USA determines that Khashoggi was indeed killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Mohammed bin Salman, the 33-year-old crown prince of Saudi Arabia who leads the country's Public Investment Fund, has pledged $45bn to SoftBank's Vision Fund, making it one of the most significant stakeholders in the Japanese investment vehicle.

Trump quoted the King on Monday as saying that neither he nor his son, Crown Prince Mohammed, had any information about what had happened to Khashoggi. "Because of the leadership, because of the location, because of the people in the kingdom, we can make it happen". Rubio said U.S. -Saudi relations may need to be "completely revised" and stressed the U.S. would lose credibility on human rights if the Trump administration remained silent.

Saudi Arabia has pledged to retaliate economically for any USA punitive action.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin still plans to attend a previously scheduled Saudi conference this week to address terrorist financing, but those plans could change as the investigation progresses, said White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow.

Trump said he'd made clear the stakes.

Turkish officials fear Khashoggi was killed and dismembered. Several business leaders and media outlets have backed out of the upcoming investment conference in Riyadh, called the Future Investment Initiative.

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