UK warns of ‘consequences’ for Saudi ties in Khashoggi case

A security member of the consulate stands at the doors of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on October 13, 2018. – A delegation of a dozen Saudi officials was in Turkey for talks on the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi after Riyadh slammed as “baseless lies” Turkish accusations he was killed inside its Istanbul consulate. With the mystery of his fate unresolved 11 days after he walked into the consulate and failed to reappear, a pro-government Turkish daily said Khashoggi had recorded his own interrogation inside the mission on an Apple Watch. (Photo by Yasin AKGUL / AFP) (Photo credit should read YASIN AKGUL/AFP/Getty Images)

U.K. Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt warned Friday there would be “consequences” if Saudi Arabia was found to have been involved in the killing in Turkey of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“I cannot speculate what we would do until we have the details, but if the stories that we read are true, then of course it will [have consequences],” Hunt told BBC Radio’s Today program.

“Part of our reaction will depend on the Saudi reaction, and whether we sense that they are taking it as seriously as we are taking it,” he added.

Noting Britain’s strategic ties with Saudi Arabia, Hunt said: “They share intelligence with us that keeps people on the streets safe. But, in the end, if the stories are true, we have to be absolutely clear, it would not be consistent with our values.”

The U.K. announced Thursday that Trade Secretary Liam Fox would not attend next week’s Future Investment Initiative conference to be hosted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

A government spokesperson said the U.K. is “very concerned” about Khashoggi’s disappearance, adding that Fox decided “the time is not right for him to attend” the conference in Riyadh.

“We encourage Turkish-Saudi collaboration and look forward to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia conducting a thorough, credible, transparent, and prompt investigation, as announced. Those bearing responsibility for his disappearance must be held to account,” the spokesperson said.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and his Dutch counterpart Wopke Hoekstra also said Thursday they  cancelled their plans to attend the Riyadh conference.