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World News

Turkey decries 'double standard' after Canada halts drone tech sales

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - 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.

“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.

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.

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 LHX.N.

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.

Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by Jonathan Spicer

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