Alwaght- Canada suspended sales of drone optics to Turkey over fears they could be used in the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Ankara responded by recalling Ottawa's arms exports to states involved in bloody aggression on Yemeni.
The surprise decision by the Canadian government – announced by Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne on Monday – "is an indication of the double-standard approach of this country," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
Turkish diplomats also recalled that Ottawa has been less principled when it comes to exporting arms to other warring parties around the world. Canada "did not see any problem in exporting weapons to countries that were militarily involved in the crisis in Yemen, which was one of the greatest humanitarian tragedies of this century," Ankara noted.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating war on Yemen in March 2015 in order to bring former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crush the popular Ansarullah movement.Thriving Canadian weapons exports to Saudi Arabia have almost doubled since 2018, amounting to $2.9 billion in 2019.
"There can be no explanation for preventing exports of defense products," Turkish diplomats insisted.
Champagne, meanwhile, justified the suspension of arms sales to Turkey by reference to concerns over Canadian technology "being used in the military conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh."
"In line with Canada's robust export control regime and due to the ongoing hostilities, I have suspended the relevant export permits to Turkey, so as to allow time to further assess the situation," the minister's announcement read.