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Saudis affirm 'total rejection' of threats over missing journalist

By Sam Howard
Saudis affirm 'total rejection' of threats over missing journalist
Palestinian activists hold posters of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Rafah, Gaza Strip, on October 9, 2018 during a protest drawing attention to his disappearance in Istanbul. Photo by Ismael Mohamad/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 14 (UPI) -- In a statement through the state-run Saudi Press Agency, Saudi Arabia confirmed a "total rejection" of any possible sanctions over the disappearance of journalist and critic Jamal Khashoggi.

In a report that did not mention Khashoggi by name, the press agency cited an "official source" who said the kingdom would retaliate to any economic sanctions. Saudi Arabia is coming under increasing global criticism nearly two weeks after Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen, Washington Post columnist and critic of the Saudi government, entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, and was never seen again.

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Turkish police think 15 Saudis killed Khashoggi inside the consulate. If the Saudis are indeed responsible, President Donald Trump said in an interview with 60 Minutes that will air Sunday, the country will face "severe punishment."

But Saudi Arabia has rejected any notion that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate.

"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 that will not undermine the Kingdom and its staunch positions and Arab, Islamic and international status, the outcome of these weak endeavors, like their predecessors, is a demise," the Saudi Press Agency report said. "The Kingdom as the government and people are steadfast, glorious as ever, no matter whatever the pressures and circumstances might be."

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