CNN is reporting that The Saudis are preparing a report that will acknowledge the death of Jamal Khashoggi — the Saudi journalist who went missing two weeks ago. According to two sources close to the situation, Khashoggi’s death was as a result of an interrogation that went wrong.
Recall that Khashoggi’s disappearance created an intense diplomatic rift between Saudi and the West, with the United Kingdom, France and Germany demanding that a “credible investigation” be conducted into the events that led to the journalist’s disappearance, while President Trump warned of serious retribution if the Saudis are found to be behind his possible death.
Yesterday, Saudi Arabia warned that it would retaliate against any sanctions imposed on the oil-rich kingdom over the disappearance of the journalist, as the Riyadh stock market plunged on growing investor jitters.
Now the kingdom is making a concession, sources have claimed. And this comes amid boycotts by tech tycoons and media giants–a host of Western companies, who are now distancing themselves from the Gulf state, imperiling the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s much-hyped economic reform drive.
It is unclear at this stage how this drama will turn out.
Saudi-owned Al Arabiya had noted that the kingdom has “over 30 measures” that it could implement to combat sanctions. Some of these include using sales of oil and arms, exchange of information between Riyadh and Washington, and a possible reconciliation with regional arch-rival Iran said the report.
As investors took fright, Saudi stocks tumbled by around seven percent at one point on Sunday, wiping out their gains for 2018.
Also, business barons including British billionaire Richard Branson and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, as well as media powerhouses like Bloomberg and CNN, have pulled out of next week’s Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh, dubbed “Davos in the desert”.
We can’t wait to see how this pans out.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor, vanished after entering the consulate on October 2.