The federal authorities has cancelled arms export licences for Turkey’s high-tech drone techniques after a overview discovered “credible proof” that Canadian know-how was diverted to Azerbaijan with out Ottawa’s consent and was utilized in combating in Nagorno-Karabakh final fall, Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau stated at the moment.
Canada suspended 25 export permits for navy items and know-how to Turkey final October and 4 extra in November following experiences that Canadian-made optical and goal acquisition techniques had been being utilized by Azerbaijan in its navy offensive towards Armenian forces within the breakaway area of Nagorno-Karabakh.
In late October, Armenian officers displayed the wreckage of a Turkish Bayraktar TB2 fight drone shot down by Armenian forces over the disputed Armenian-populated area.
Armenian defence officers stated the surveillance and assault drone was outfitted with a state-of-the-art digicam and goal acquisition system produced by L3 Harris WESCAM in Burlington, Ont.
Those experiences prompted federal officers to examine claims that Turkey had diverted Canadian know-how to Azerbaijan in direct violation of its end-user settlement with Canada.
“Following this overview, which discovered credible proof that Canadian know-how exported to Turkey was utilized in Nagorno-Karabakh, at the moment I’m saying the cancellation of permits that had been suspended within the fall of 2020,” Garneau stated in a press release.
“This use was not in step with Canadian international coverage, nor end-use assurances given by Turkey.”
Garneau stated he additionally spoke together with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu to “reiterate Canada’s concern.”
Ottawa and Ankara “want to provoke a dialogue mechanism between Canadian and Turkish officers to construct mutual confidence and larger cooperation on export permits to guarantee consistency with end-use assurances earlier than any additional permits for navy items and know-how are issued,” Garneau added.
“Turkey is a vital NATO ally and functions – to NATO cooperation applications will probably be assessed on a case-by-case foundation.”
Sevag Belian, govt director of the Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC), stated Canada’s Armenian neighborhood considers the cancellation of the arms export licences a step in the precise path.
“We are nonetheless learning the report intently and proceed to work with authorities officers and name on Ottawa to be certain that this error isn’t repeated and that Canada refrains from doing enterprise with unrepentant dictatorships like Turkey and Azerbaijan sooner or later,” Belian stated.
Cesar Jaramillo, govt director of the arms management watchdog Project Ploughshares, additionally welcomed Ottawa’s transfer.
“This is a optimistic growth and, given the load of the proof, the one path out there for Canada to be compliant with home and worldwide arms controls,” Jaramillo stated.
“One does surprise about Ottawa’s vigilance of Canadian arms exports because it was civil society and the media who first drew consideration to the diversion of Canadian weapons by Turkey — not the Canadian authorities, which has higher assets and entry to the identical open supply data.”
The cancellation, he added, additionally raises questions on coverage coherence at Global Affairs Canada, since Canada stays decided to arm Saudi Arabia.
The Trudeau authorities continues to be dealing with questions on its choice to approve the export permits to Turkey within the first place.
Canada suspended the issuance of latest export permits to Turkey in October of 2019, following Ankara’s navy incursion into Kurdish-controlled areas of northeastern Syria.
But the Liberal authorities out of the blue reversed its choice and signed off on export permits for WESCAM sensors following a telephone name between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in late April of 2020.
Many navy specialists say Turkish and Israeli drones — a few of which reportedly are additionally outfitted with WESCAM sensors — performed a big function in Azerbaijan’s victory within the 44-day conflict that killed no less than 6,000 individuals on each side.
Turkey claims double-standard
The opposition has accused the Liberal authorities of buckling beneath lobbying stress from the Turkish authorities and has referred to as in parliamentary hearings into the matter.
The Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development will maintain one other assembly Tuesday to look into the choice to grant arms export licences to Turkey.
Turkey has accused Canada of sustaining a double normal, pointing to its continued arms shipments to Saudi Arabia regardless of that nation’s main function within the Yemen battle and its poor human rights document.
“We count on our NATO allies to keep away from unconstructive steps that can negatively have an effect on our bilateral relations and undermine alliance solidarity,” stated a press release by the Turkish embassy in Ottawa.