The kingdom says how dare you

Saudi Arabia is issuing threats.

Saudi Arabia has said it will retaliate against any sanctions imposed over the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, as the Riyadh stock market had its biggest fall in years.

The French, German and UK foreign secretaries ratcheted up the pressure by releasing a joint statement calling on the Saudi government to give a complete and detailed account of Khashoggi’s disappearance, adding that those found to be responsible must be held to account.

Riyadh vowed to hit back against any action. “The kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether through economic sanctions, political pressure or repeating false accusations,” it said.

The kingdom affirms its right to murder anyone it wants to.

Saudi Arabia’s vast oil reserves, said to be about 260bn barrels, give it enormous clout in the global economy. It has significant power to drive up prices, which would hurt every major developed economy.

It has that, and that’s all it has. If it weren’t for the oil it would be a pariah state.

In the firmest joint language to appear from Europe since the crisis broke, the European foreign ministers said “light must be shed on Khashoggi’s disappearance”.

They said they shared the “grave concerns” expressed by the UN secretary general, António Guterres, and “are treating this incident with the utmost seriousness. There needs to be a credible investigation to establish the truth about what happened, and – if relevant – to identify those bearing responsibility for the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi and ensure that they are held to account.”

The statement added: “We encourage joint Saudi-Turkish efforts in that regard, and expect the Saudi government to provide a complete and detailed response. We have conveyed this message directly to the Saudi authorities.”

It would be nice if the US were part of that statement, but of course it’s not. Donnie Two-scoops likes the Saudi dictators; they’re his kind of guys.

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