Canada cancels export permits for drone technology in Turkey | Middle East News

The foreign minister said the examination revealed that “credible evidence” technology was used by Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Canada canceled export permits to Turkey for drone technology, the Foreign Ministry said, after a government review found that systems made in Canada had been used by Azerbaijan in the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.

In one declaration On Monday, Foreign Minister Marc Garneau said the review “found credible evidence” that Canadian technology had been used in the disputed territory during six weeks of fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the end of last year.

In early October, Canada suspended export permits to Turkey after reports revealed that the Azerbaijani army, which was supported by Ankara, used drone imaging and targeting systems manufactured by a Canadian company.

“This use was not in accordance with Canadian foreign policy, nor with end-use assurances given by Turkey,” Garneau said in the statement.

He also said he had held talks with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, to open a dialogue “in order to strengthen mutual trust and greater cooperation on export permits”.

“Turkey is an important NATO ally and applications related to NATO cooperation programs will be assessed on a case-by-case basis,” Garneau added.

Previously, Turkey said Cavusoglu had urged Canada to review defense industry restrictions.

“He expressed concern over Canada’s position on the defense industry restrictions imposed on Turkey and called for their consideration,” Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said, as reported by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Reuters news agency.

Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but has been under the control of ethnic Armenians backed by the Armenian government since a war in the mountainous region led to a ceasefire in 1994.

But six weeks of intense fighting erupted between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces last year, and a Cease-fire negotiated by Russia, under which Armenia handed over the disputed territory, was reached in November.

Amnesty International accused both sides of repeatedly attacking residential areas far from the front lines in violation of international humanitarian law, noting in a January report that weapons, including cluster munitions, have been used.

Canada’s decision to remove export permits comes after anti-war group Project Plowshares raised concerns last fall (fall) about Turkey’s use of drone technologies manufactured by L3Harris WESCAM, the Canadian branch of the American defense company L3Harris, in several conflict zones.

Cesar Jaramillo, executive director of Plowshares, told Al Jazeera he welcomed the announcement on Monday, “although it has been months since it became clear that Canadian arms exports were being illegally diverted to the top. -Karabakh ”.

“Above all, it was civil society and the media that identified these cases of hijacking, not the Canadian government. This raises questions about the effectiveness of the post-export verification mechanisms available to Ottawa, ”Jaramillo said in an email.

“Would Canada continue to export weapons technology to Turkey if the government had not been alerted to its misuse?”

In his final report When reviewing export permits to Turkey, the Canadian government said it found “credible evidence that Bayraktar TB2 drones – equipped with Canadian sensors – were used in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict”.

He said he was unaware of any credible evidence that other Canadian military goods and technology had been used in the conflict.

Canada also temporarily suspended new arms export permits to Turkey in 2019 after Turkish forces launched an operation in northeastern Syria.

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