Saudis reject Trump’s threats
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES — Saudi Arabia on Sunday threatened to retaliate for any sanctions imposed against it after President Donald Trump said the oil-rich kingdom deserves “severe punishment” if it is responsible for the disappearance and suspected slaying of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi.
The warning from the world’s top oil exporter came after a turbulent day on the Saudi stock exchange, which plunged as much as 7 percent at one point.
The statement was issued as international concern grew over the writer who vanished on a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul over a week ago. American lawmakers threatened tough punitive action against the Saudis, and Germany, France and Britain jointly called for a “credible investigation” into Khashoggi’s disappearance.
Turkish officials have said they fear a Saudi hit team killed and dismembered Khashoggi, who wrote critically of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The kingdom has called such allegations “baseless” but has not offered any evidence Khashoggi ever left the consulate.
Already, international business leaders are pulling out of the kingdom’s upcoming investment forum, a high-profile event known as “Davos in the Desert,” and the sell-off on Riyadh’s Tadawul stock exchange showed that investors are uneasy.