Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul. Image Credit: AFP

King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud spoke to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday in a phone call, where he thanked Erdogan for welcoming the Kingdom’s proposal to form a joint team to investigate the disappearance of Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi, according to SPA.

King Salman has confirmed the Kingdom's keenness on its relations with Turkey. Assuring that no one will get between the two countries' strong relationship.

The news agency reported that the Turkish President expressed his appreciation for the historic and unique relations between the two countries, their people, and his keenness to strengthen and develop those ties.

Messages of support and solidarity

On Sunday, UAE reiterated its solidarity with Saudi Arabia against all attempts to undermine its regional position and stature on Sunday.

Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, expressed the UAE’s rejection of all attempts that would harm the Saudi role in establishing regional peace and security.

He voiced his deepest appreciation of the high status enjoyed by Saudi Arabia and its leadership, appreciating its position as a major force to guarantee the security and stability in the Arab and Islamic world and the entire region.

Shaikh Abdullah commended Saudi Arabia’s positive role represented in all its initiatives and constructive policies that contribute to promote security and development at the regional and international levels.

Arab nations affirmed Sunday their complete solidarity with Saudi Arabia against efforts to harm the Kingdom’s policy, position and sovereignty.

Bahrain expressed its gratitude of the important role played by Saudi Arabia, which “is considered the foundation for security and stability in the Arab and Islamic worlds.”

Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman said “We warn against trying to exploit this issue politically against Saudi Arabia on arbitrary charges, and Egypt affirms its support for the Kingdom in its efforts and positions to deal with this event,”

Oman’s foreign ministry have also said the Sultanate “supports the Kingdom in its efforts to clarify the truth, and verification before any hasty, prior judgments are made.”

The Jordanian government also affirmed the Kingdom’s central role in consolidating security, stability and peace. Statement on Sunday said that Jordan stands with Saudi Arabia in the face of any targeted rumors and campaigns aimed without relying on facts.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday expressed his appreciation for the firm stance of the Kingdom, and expressed his absolute confidence in the Kingdom, under the leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, stressing that Palestine was and will remain with Saudi Arabia, in a statement issued by the Palestinian News Agency.

Meanwhile, Yemen said the Kingdom is “being subjected to malicious and prejudicial tendencies due to its honorable and honest positions with issues regarding the Arab and Islamic nation and its leading roles in regional and international stability,” reported Yemeni news agency Saba

While the Arab League rejected any threat to impose sanctions on the Kingdom, saying, “it is totally unacceptable in the framework of relations between countries to threaten economic sanctions as a policy or instrument to achieve political or unilateral objectives.”

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) praised the Turkish-Saudi initiative of forming a joint working group and bringing together specialists from both countries to investigate the circumstances of Khashoggi’s disappearance in Istanbul, Turkey.

Saudi Arabia vowed to retaliate

Earlier in the day, Saudi Arabia dismissed threats of sanctions by President Donald Trump, and vowed to retaliate against such actions, the state news agency SPA reported, quoting an official source.

The statement posted by Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “The Kingdom sustains its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether by waving economic sanctions, or using political pressure, or repeating false accusations.”

It added: “All those attempts will not affect the kingdom's deep-rooted position in the Arab, Islamic and international world. We believe that the ultimate fate of these futile endeavors against Saudi Arabia, like all its predecessors, is failure.”

The statement have also said that Saudi Arabia will retaliate against any punitive measures with an even "stronger” response, after President Donald Trump threatened "severe punishment" over the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi.

“The Kingdom emphasizes that it will respond to any measure against it with an even stronger measure. The Kingdom's economy has an influential and vital role in the global economy, and that Kingdom's economy is only affected by the global economy." 

In the statement, Saudi Arabia also thanked all countries and people that have stood by its side against the false campaign in the media.

“The Kingdom appreciates the stand of its brothers in the face of all the false allegations and lies. It also appreciates the voices of the wise people around the world who have the wisdom to search for the truth, instead of rushing to exploit rumors and random accusations.”

Bahrain and the UAE in separate statements said they sided with Saudi Arabia, saying that it was being politically targeted by campaigns that were not genuinely keen on finding out the truth about Khashoggi’s disappearance.

Saudi Arabia’s Interior Minister Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Saud Bin Nayef has condemned on Saturday the false accusations and attacks on the Saudi government and people peddled by some media covering the disappearance of Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi.

The embassy in Washington issued a tweet to clarify an earlier statement in which Saudi Arabia said it would retaliate to international pressure or sanctions with greater measures.

 

'Baseless lies'

Bin Nayef said: “Reports about the existence of orders to kill Khashoggi are baseless lies and fabrications towards the government of the Kingdom, which remains committed to its values and traditions and compliant with international laws, norms and conventions.”

He added: “Saudi Arabia is keen on the interests of its citizens, both within the Kingdom and abroad, and is particularly interested in the whole truth about the disappearance of its citizen Jamal Khashoggi.”

Riyadh and Ankara agreed on forming a joint team to probe Khashoggi’s disappearance and on Friday, the Saudi delegation arrived in the Turkish capital.

Saudi Arabia meanwhile expressed its appreciation of countries, including the United States, “for refraining from jumping to conclusions” over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 

Khashoggi was last seen in public on October 2 as he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Saudi officials have insisted he left some time after he walked in.

Bahraini Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa said the international campaign ostensibly supporting Khashoggi was in fact politically targeting Saudi Arabia. “The real objective is Saudi Arabia, and not looking for any truth,” he tweeted on Friday. “Drop your masks, we support Saudi Arabia with our lives,” he posted on his Twitter account on Friday.

In another tweet, Shaikh Khalid decried the stance of the Qatar-based pan-Arab television station.

“The continuing hostility, abuses and lies by Al Jazeera Television towards Saudi Arabia reflect Qatar’s policy with which we cannot reconcile.”

Several media have been devoting most of their news coverage, reports and analyses to Khashoggi’s case under a clear anti-Saudi editorial line.

On Thursday, UAE State Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash pointed to the repercussions of politically targeting Saudi Arabia, saying they would be dire for all those who fuel it.

“The vicious campaign against Riyadh and the coordination between those inciting it is expected. Since there is an urgent need to clarify the humanitarian aspect of the situation, the repercussions for politically targeting Saudi Arabia will be grave for those behind it. The bottom-line is that Saudi Arabia’s success is the best choice for both the region and its citizens,” Gargash posted to his 865,000 followers on Twitter.