Canada Lifts Arms Export Ban to Turkey

Tue Jan 30 2024
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OTTAWA: Canada has announced the removal of its ban on certain arms exports to Turkey, opting for a case-by-case review process. The decision, revealed in a notice to exporters, signifies a shift from the previous denial policy, allowing permits for military items and specific weapon types to be reconsidered individually.

The initial arms export restriction to Turkey was imposed by Canada in April 2021 after an investigation revealed that Canadian drone technology, exported to Turkey, had been utilized by Azerbaijan in conflicts with Armenia. The ban affected around 30 permits, covering a range of military goods and technologies, including aircraft components, software, satellite equipment, and firearm components.

Under the new approach, Canada will assess permits on a case-by-case basis, requiring assurances from Turkish importers regarding the intended use of the weapons. Importantly, a government statement from Turkey must indicate whether the items will be re-exported or transferred to a non-NATO country. The notice emphasizes Canada’s authority to suspend or cancel permits based on its broad discretion.

This decision comes less than a week after Turkey’s parliament ratified Sweden’s membership in the NATO defense alliance, resolving initial objections and over a year of delays. The move aligns with Canada’s commitment to reevaluate its arms export policies, providing a framework for a more nuanced and scrutinized approach to military exports, while taking into account human rights, international security, and justice considerations.


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