Saudi king calls Erdogan as Khashoggi fallout widens

Jamal Khashoggi

Saudi Arabia Sunday warned against threats to punish it over last week's disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as European and US allies piled on pressure.

Saudi Arabia on Sunday thanked Washington for not rushing to conclusions as the probe continues into the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

However, President Donald Trump has reportedly talked about "severe punishment" if the Saudi government is found to be linked with his disappearance.

The statement was issued as worldwide concern grew over the writer who vanished on a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul over a week ago.

Salman emphasised the importance of the Turkey-Saudi relationship and said no-one should be able to "undermine the strength of this relationship", official Saudi media said.

Journalist Jamal Khashoggi entered Istanbul's Saudi consulate and has not been heard from since. Britain, France and Germany also said on Sunday they were demanding a "credible investigation".

The incident is threatening to spark a geopolitical crisis as the USA and Turkey demand answers from Saudi Arabia, and the kingdom vows to retaliate against any punitive measures imposed over the critic's fate.

While expressing support for joint Saudi-Turkish efforts to look into his disappearance, they said the Saudi government must provide "a complete and detailed response", indicating that such a message had been conveyed "directly" to Riyadh. The Saudi stock market dropped by 7% on Sunday after Trump threatened of "severe punishment" which spooked investors.

But Riyadh vowed to hit back on Sunday against any punitive measures while Trump has also made clear he is reluctant to curb all-important arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia, which provided much of the funding for the SoftBank Vision Fund, is seeing a growing number of attendees pull out of the "Davos in the Desert" investment conference after the disappearance of a prominent Saudi journalist.

Saudi Arabia firmly denies any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance and says he left the consulate that afternoon.

However, he told CBS News on Saturday that the United States was investigating the case which he called "really awful and disgusting" and that "there will be severe punishment".

What happened to Jamal Khashoggi?

In an article titled "Silicon Valley's Saudi Arabia Problem", the New York Times outlines how liberal Silicon Valley tech firms struggle with the issue of taking money from Saudi Arabian investors while ignoring the countries many human rights violations.

The Washington Post, citing unidentified US and Turkish officials, reported that Turkey had told USA officials it has audio and video recordings that prove Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate.

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