Armenia says it recalls ambassador from Israel over arms sales to Azerbaijan

An Armenian serviceman fires a cannon towards Azerbaijan positions in the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan, Sept. 29, 2020. (AP)

Armenian foreign ministry said on Thursday it has recalled its ambassador from Israel for consultations over alleged arms sales by Israel to Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan has acknowledged using Israeli-made weapons in its fighting with ethnic Armenian forces around Nagorno-Karabakh, where heavy clashes this week have drawn international calls for an immediate ceasefire.

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Protesting against the Israeli weapons exports, Armenian foreign ministry spokeswoman Anna Naghdalyan said "Israel's workstyle is unacceptable. The ministry has to call back its ambassador in Israel."

Israel's foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Asked for details on weapons sales to Azerbaijan, an Israeli defense ministry spokeswoman declined comment.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a leading conflict and armaments think-tank, Israel provided Azerbaijan with some $825 million in weapons between 2006 and 2019.

Those exports included drones, loitering munitions, anti-tank missiles, and a surface-to-air missile system, information from SIPRI's Arms Transfers Database showed.

Separately, in a video interview with Israel's Walla news website on Wednesday, Azeri presidential aide Hikmat Hajayev said Azerbaijan was using "some" Israeli-made drones in fighting around Nagorno-Karabakh, without specifying how many.

"(We) have one of the strongest (drone) fleets in the region. And among them we have Israeli ones, we have other drones as well, but Israeli drones especially, including reconnaissance and attack drones, and kamikaze 'Harop' drones, (which) have proved itself very effective," Hajayev said.

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Last Update: Thursday, 01 October 2020 KSA 21:42 - GMT 18:42
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