Bahraini minister calls for boycott of Uber over Khashoggi case

Marcus Newton
October 16, 2018

I mean, who knows? And on Sunday, Britain, France and Germany released a joint statement expressing "grave concern" about Khashoggi's case and calling for a "credible investigation".

But he said the royal court would soon put out a narrative that an official within the kingdom's intelligence services - who happened to be a friend of Prince Mohammed - had carried out the killing.

Other companies and high-profile businessmen have pulled out of the three-day conference known as "Davos in the desert", which is scheduled to begin on October 23 in Riyadh.

The exchange dropped by over 500 points, then clawed back some of the losses, ending the day down more than 4 per cent.

Saudi Arabia will retaliate "with even greater action" if the USA president goes through with a threat of "severe punishment" should it be proven that Saudi agents killed dissident journalist Jamal Kashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Turkey accepted a Saudi proposal last week to form a joint working group to investigate Khashoggi's disappearance, which has sparked threats of economic sanctions from Western allies.

"Whether by waving economic sanctions, using political pressure, or repeating false accusations that will undermine the Kingdom", Saudi officials said in a statement, they would "respond with greater action". Benchmark Brent crude now trades above $80 a barrel and US gasoline prices have risen ahead of the midterm elections.

Much is at stake in the U.S. -Saudi relationship.

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Turkish authorities have an audio recording indicating that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, a Turkish official and a security source told Reuters, and have shared evidence with countries including Saudi Arabia and the United States.

The crown prince, ambitious, aggressive and just 33 in a kingdom long ruled by aging monarchs, has considerable weight in Saudi government actions.

He said Riyadh would "respond to any action with a bigger one", pointing out that the oil superpower "plays an effective and vital role in the world economy". But Khashoggi's disappearance, and suspicions he may have been targeted over his criticism of the crown prince, have led several business leaders and media outlets to back out of an upcoming investment conference in Riyadh. "If the price of oil reaching $80 angered President Trump, no one should rule out the price jumping to $100, or $200, or even double that figure", wrote Turki Aldakhil, general manager of the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya news channel, in an op-ed.

A range of punishments are under discussion within the US administration, from downgrading diplomatic relations or sanctioning Saudi officials to following major USA companies in withdrawing officials from an investment conference in Riyadh later this month.

It's not clear yet when Pompeo might go to meet the Saudi king.

The Saudi government has denied all the allegations about Khashoggi's death.

The Future Investment Initiative is created to showcase Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's Vision 2030 plan, which is highly dependent on foreign investment.

Bahrain called for a boycott of Uber, in which PIF has invested $3.5 billion, after its chief executive officer said he would not attend the conference.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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