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Turkey accuses Canada of ‘double standard’ after suspension of arms exports

Click to play video 'Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: Armenia says Azerbaijan attacking civilian areas with cluster bombs' Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: Armenia says Azerbaijan attacking civilian areas with cluster bombs
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: Armenia says Azerbaijan attacking civilian areas with cluster bombs – Oct 5, 2020

Canada’s decision to suspend exports of some military technology over allegations the equipment was used by Azeri forces in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict shows a double standard, Turkey’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

“Turkey expects Canada to follow a policy free of double standards and to act without being influenced from those opposed to Turkey,” the ministry said in a statement.

Read more: Canada to suspend arms exports to Turkey over Armenia, Azerbaijan conflict allegations

“There is no explanation of blocking defence equipment exports to a NATO ally while … Canada does not see any harm in exporting arms to countries that have military involvement in the crisis in Yemen,” it said.

Turkey carefully sticks to its obligations under its comprehensive export-control regime, the ministry added.

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Click to play video 'Azerbaijan’s president says Armenia leaving disputed region is only way for peace amid conflict' Azerbaijan’s president says Armenia leaving disputed region is only way for peace amid conflict
Azerbaijan’s president says Armenia leaving disputed region is only way for peace amid conflict – Sep 30, 2020

Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said on Monday Canada suspended the export of some drone technology to Turkey while it investigates whether it was used by Azeri forces in more than a week of fierce clashes with Armenia.

Turkey has in the past supplied drones to Azerbaijan and has repeated it stands firmly beside its close ally in the conflict over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Read more: Canada to stop military exports to Turkey if human rights abuses uncovered: Champagne 

Canadian arms control group Project Ploughshares says video of air strikes released by Baku indicates the drones had been equipped with imaging and targeting systems made by L3Harris Wescam, the Canada-based unit of L3Harris Technologies Inc.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have accused each other of attacking civilian areas and hundreds of people have been killed in the deadliest clashes in the region for more than 25 years. NATO has urged an immediate ceasefire.

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(Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by Jonathan Spicer)