Saudi Arabia government pledges ‘greater action’ if United States retaliates for Khashoggi disappearance

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US President Donald Trump vowed "severe punishment" for Saudi Arabia if the United States determines that Saudi agents killed Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, calling the journalist's suspected murder "really awful and disgusting".

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow declined to speculate on what Trump might do after the president promised "severe punishment" in a "60 Minutes" interview, if the US determines that Khashoggi was indeed killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

It comes following the news of the disappearance of Washington Post columnist, Jamal Khashoggi, from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

"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.

On Monday, a source familiar with the matter said Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman and BlackRock Chief Executive Larry Fink were pulling out of the summit.

After gathering information from the Turks and the joint team, "the feeling from the leadership was we needed an internal investigation to make sure we're getting the right story here", the official said.

However, it puts more pressure on Saudi Arabia to explain what happened to Mr Khashoggi, who has written critically about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, after he walked into the consulate on October 2.

Saudi King Salman spoke to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan by phone on Sunday, the Saudi foreign ministry said, telling Erdogan: "No-one will get (to) undermine the strength of this relationship".

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But on Sunday Saudi Arabia said it rejected political and economic "threats" over the missing journalist and would respond to any punitive action "with a bigger one". But Khashoggi's disappearance, and suspicions he may have been targeted over his criticism of the crown prince, have led several business leaders and media outlets to back out of an upcoming high-profile investment conference in Riyadh.

Uber's absence carries a special sting, given both the size of the Saudi investment and its significance for the kingdom's economic reform plans. UAE businessman Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor urged a boycott of Virgin, which has suspended discussions with PIF over a planned $1 billion investment.

Turkish officials say they fear Saudi agents killed and dismembered Khashoggi after he entered the consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Roger Diwan, a longstanding OPEC watcher at consultant IHS Markit Ltd., said the Saudi comments broke "an essential oil market taboo".

The cancellations have cast a pall over the annual summit at which Prince Mohammed wowed investors a year ago with talking robots and blueprints for a futuristic mega city.

"I want to assure markets and petroleum consumers around the world that we want to continue support the growth of the global economy, the prosperity of consumers around the world", Al Falih said. We've all heard a lot about the audio.

Oil is still off the $86 peak seen last week before the sell-off on the U.S. markets.

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