Canada extends arms export ban on Turkey


The Canadian government has maintained a ban of arms exports to NATO ally Turkey - including military drone technology - after "credible evidence" that Turkey had supplied weapons used by Azerbaijan in the recent conflict with Armenia. Evidence included images of a Turkish Bayraktar TB2 combat drone which was shot down by Armenia in late October. The drone was fitted with surveillance and target acquisition technology built by L3 Harris Wescam. Canadian officials claimed that this indicated that Turkey had diverted technology to Azerbaijan in direct violation of the end-user agreement between Turkey and Canada.

The exports were allowed following intense lobbying by lobbyists connected to both Bayraktar and L3 Harris Wescam, which culminated in the Trudeau government allowing an exemption to rules that were blocking export of drone technology. The Armenian government claims that drones shot down during the conflict were carrying technology produced by Wescam in June 2020, after the exemption was approved.

In 2019, Canadian arms exports to Turkey were valued at US$120 million.


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