Saudis to allow Turkish investigators to search consulate

Khashoggi,Jamal Khashoggi,Saudi journalist

Saudis reject threats as stocks plunge after Trump warns of 'severe punishment' over missing journalist

People hold signs during a protest at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia about the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in Washington. Trump said he had dispatched Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the region.

Khashoggi was a Washington Post contributor who had written columns critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"He said that they are working closely with Turkey to find answer", Trump continued in this morning's tweet, ignoring Turkey's remarks to the contrary, though today, almost two weeks after Khashoggi vanished, Saudis are allowing Turkish forensic authorities into the consulate for the first time.

Trump has taken a cautious position, threatening "severe punishment" should proof emerge of Saudi guilt, but insisting that he will not risk billions of dollars in deals to sell U.S. weapons to the kingdom, a strategic ally in the tinder box Middle East.

"The king firmly denied any knowledge of it", Trump told reporters.

"Maybe these could have been rogue killers - who knows", Trump said, ". but his was a flat denial".

Journalists report from outside the Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018.

Saudi Arabia is one of the world's top oil exporters.

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

A joint Turkish-Saudi team was set to search the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where Khashoggi was last seen on October 2.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have discussed the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi as pressure builds up on Riyadh to come clean about the fate of the prominent journalist. "Now we are at the stage of collecting concrete evidence at the consulate".

Saudi officials arrived in Turkey on Friday after the two governments agreed to a joint investigation into the case, with Saudi officials granting Turkish investigator access to the consulate building, Reuters reported.

Asked when the public prosecutor could make an announcement, the official said: "He was instructed to work quickly".

It is feared the Washington Post columnist, who lived in the USA, was killed and dismembered when he visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

The kingdom's Tadawul All-Shares Index (TASI) lost more than 500 points, diving by seven percent in the first two hours of trading Sunday, in panic selling reminiscent of the days after the global financial crisis in 2008.

Foreign capital is key to Saudi plans for economic diversification and job creation.

The UAE billionaire, Khalaf Al Habtoor has called for a boycott on U.S. companies that have backed out of Saudi's Future Investment Initiative summit.

"It is expected that examinations will be carried out this afternoon", the source said.

Uber declined to comment. Prince Mohammed told Reuters past year that Blackstone and BlackRock Inc were planning to open offices in the kingdom. Saudi Arabia may have agreed to the search in order to appease its Western allies and the global community.

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