Endeavor Considers Withdrawing From Saudi Arabia Deal

The uncorroborated leaks point to the brittle alliance between Ankara and Riyadh

Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi government critic, entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2 and then disappeared.

The New York Times, citing a person familiar with the Saudi plans, reported that Prince Mohammed bin Salman had approved an interrogation or rendition of Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is "one of the biggest players in the Middle East and is one of the two biggest growing markets for foreign military sales", he said.

Over the weekend, US President Donald Trump vowed "severe punishment" if it were proven that Saudi Arabia killed Khashoggi, and sent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the kingdom on Monday to discuss the incident.

"The Kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether by threatening to impose economic sanctions, using political pressures, or repeating false accusations", the state-run Saudi Press Agency said.

Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain documents to marry his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz.

Saudi Arabia, in turn, threatened to retaliate.

Khashoggi, a Saudi-born writer who contributed to the Washington Post, was highly critical of the crown prince's government and has been living in self-imposed exile in the United States for a year because of fears he would be arrested in a crackdown on dissidents.

Earlier on Monday, Salman ordered an internal probe into Khashoggi's disappearance while a joint Turkish-Saudi team was set to search the consulate.

While lurid claims have appeared in Turkish media - including that Khashoggi was tortured and dismembered - Turkey's leadership has so far refrained from pointing the finger directly at Riyadh in public comments.

The kingdom seems to be taking on each challenge one by one, beginning with Turkey where the macabre incident took place.

President Trump raised the possibility today that "rogue killers" were behind the Saudi journalist's disappearance, not the kingdom's leaders. Authorities there believe he was killed in the building by Saudi agents, which Riyadh has dismissed as "lies".

The global conference, starting on 23 October, has been dubbed "Davos in the Desert", though the World Economic Forum says it has nothing to do with its annual event in the Swiss Alps.

In this December 15, 2014 file photo, Jamal Khashoggi, then general manager of a new Arabic news channel speaks during a press conference, in Manama, Bahrain.

Few details have emerged over how the joint working group will function, sparking suspicion that Saudi Arabia might be trying to coax Turkey with certain concessions at a time of the latter's economic problems.

It was unclear if the boycott call was aimed at users of Uber's service or investors in the company, or both, and whether Bahrain is planning other measures against the company. She added, "There are many friends and allies we could have gone to". "The Saudi government has said that they will not give in and take measures to retaliate against any pressure by the U.S. or other western countries".

Ford Motor Co Chairman Bill Ford also pulled out, as well as media organizations like CNN and Bloomberg which once served as sponsors of the conference.

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