Saudi threatens to retaliate against any United States sanctions over Khashoggi disappearance

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With the explosive claim by Turkish authorities that Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi leadership, was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Turkey on October 2, several major USA business leaders and media companies have withdrawn from the investors conference set for later this month.

'Defending freedom of expression and a free press and ensuring the protection of journalists are key priorities for Germany, the United Kingdom and France, ' the ministers said in a statement issued by the Foreign Office in London.

The Washington Post reported that bin Salman had himself ordered an operation targeting the journalist, a former Saudi government adviser.

The joint statement - which came a day after the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg - stressed the need for a "credible investigation" to take place.

Later Mr Hunt said that whatever happened now was "absolutely up to Saudi Arabia". A Saudi journalist and critic of the Saudi leadership has possibly been killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The Saudis called accusations that they were responsible for Khashoggi's disappearance "baseless".

President Donald Trump said that country could face "severe punishment" if Khashoggi, a legal resident of the us, was killed inside the consulate.

The Saudi delegation, whose composition was not immediately clear, is expected to meet with Turkish officials in Ankara at the weekend, state media said on Friday.

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He brazenly said Thursday that he was not willing to throw away billions of dollars in military deals with Saudi Arabia.

John Brennan, the former Central Intelligence Agency director who previously served as a Central Intelligence Agency station chief in Saudi Arabia, said Sunday during an appearance on "Meet the Press" that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has become "emboldened" to be more aggressive by his relationship with Trump and Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and a top White House aide.

Turkish authorities say a team of Saudis killed Khashoggi, and U.S. intelligence intercepts show Saudi officials discussing an operation to lure Khashoggi - a Saudi citizen who had been living in the USA - back to Saudi Arabia from his home in Virginia and detain him.

"The Kingdom also affirms that if it receives any action, it will respond with greater action, and that the Kingdom's economy has an influential and vital role in the global economy".

Turkey and Saudi Arabia are rivals for influence in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia calls allegations that it killed Jamal Khashoggi lies. "The people who took him from us, irrespective of their political positions, must be held accountable and punished to the full extent of the law", she said.

A number of members of Congress have pressed the Trump administration to impose sanctions on the country in response to the Khashoggi affair.

The article and pictures were proof that Khashoggi was "tooling around Afghanistan with Osama bin Laden", Poole said, adding, "He's just a democrat reformer journalist holding a RPG with jihadists".

As a contributor to the Post, Khashoggi has written extensively about Saudi Arabia, including criticism of its war in Yemen, its recent diplomatic spat with Canada and its arrest of women's rights activists after the lifting of a ban on women driving.

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