Canada suspends arms sales to Turkey after claims of use by Azerbaijan

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Canada has suspended certain export permits to Turkey after it was reported that Canadian technology was being used in the military conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, a senior Canadian official said Monday.

“In line with Canada’s robust export control regime and due to the ongoing hostilities, I have suspended the relevant export permits to Turkey, so as to allow time to further assess the situation,” a statement from Minister of Foreign Affairs Francois-Philippe Champagne said.

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Turkey has been accused by France and several other nations of sending mercenaries to fight alongside Azerbaijan forces against Armenia-backed troops in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Israel has also been accused of supplying heavy weapons to the Azeris. After being reported by Al Arabiya English last week, Armenia recalled its ambassador to Tel Aviv for consultations over the sale of Israeli weapons to Baku.

On Monday, the top Canadian diplomat added that his country continued to be concerned by the ongoing conflict in the Caucasus region.

“We call for measures to be taken immediately to stabilize the situation on the ground and reiterate that there is no alternative to a peaceful, negotiated solution to this conflict,” he said.

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Ankara is backing its longtime ally Baku in the fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian province that broke away from Azerbaijan in a bitterly fought war in the 1990s.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in a simmering conflict for decades over the region and new fighting has been the heaviest in decades, with nearly 200 people confirmed killed.

- With AFP

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