Canadian Foreign Minister Mark Jarno said that his country canceled, on Monday, export permits related to drone technology to Turkey, after concluding that Azerbaijani forces used this equipment in their fight with Armenia in the Nagorno Karabakh region.
Turkey, a member of NATO, is like Canada, and it is a key ally of Azerbaijan, whose forces seized territory in the region after six weeks of fighting.
To that, Jarno indicated in a statement that “this use was not consistent with Canadian foreign policy, nor with the end-use guarantees provided by Turkey.” He added that he discussed his concerns with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu.
Canada suspended the permits in October so it could verify claims that Azerbaijani drones were equipped.
With imaging and targeting systems made by L3 Harris Wescam, a Canada-based unit of L3 Harris Technologies, Inc.
From the Karabakh region
Avoid unconstructive steps.
For its part, the Turkish Embassy in Ottawa said in a statement, “We expect our NATO allies to avoid unconstructive steps that will negatively affect our bilateral relations and undermine the solidarity of the alliance.”
Earlier today, Cavusoglu urged Canada to reconsider the restrictions on the defense industry it imposed on Ankara last year.
The ban includes camera systems for armed Baykar drones. Canada suspended export licenses in 2019 during Turkish military activities in Syria, before relaxing them since then to re-impose them during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Turkey’s military exports to Azerbaijan jumped six times last year. Sales of drones and other military hardware rose to $ 77 million in September alone, before fighting broke out between Armenia and Azerbaijan.