Turkey decries ‘double standard’ after Canada halts drone tech sales

Turkey on October 4 condemned what it said were attacks on civilians by Armenian forces on the Azerbaijani city of Ganja in the conflict over disputed breakaway region Nagorno-Karabakh. (File/AFP)
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Updated 06 October 2020

Turkey decries ‘double standard’ after Canada halts drone tech sales

  • Turkey carefully sticks to its obligations under its comprehensive export-control regime, the ministry said
  • Canada suspended the export of some drone technology to Turkey while it investigates whether it was used by Azeri forces

ISTANBUL: 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 defense 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. .
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 cease-fire.


Over 3 million virus cases reported in Mideast

Labourers, wearing protective face masks, disinfect the front of restaurant in Dubai's marina on March 16, 2020. (AFP)
Updated 31 October 2020

Over 3 million virus cases reported in Mideast

  • Labourers, wearing protective face masks, disinfect the front of restaurant in Dubai's marina on March 16, 2020

DUBAI: The number of reported coronavirus cases has gone over 3 million in the Middle East, an Associated Press count showed on Friday, with the true number likely even higher.
Across the Mideast, there have been over 75,000 deaths attributed to the virus by health authorities, the AP count relying on reported figures by individual countries shows.
There have been 2.5 million recoveries from the virus causing the COVID-19 illness.
In the Mideast, the hardest-hit nation remains Iran, which served as the initial epicenter of the virus in the region. In Iran alone, authorities say there have been over 600,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, with some 477,000 recoveries and 34,000 deaths. Yet even those numbers are believed to be low, Iranian officials say.

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Deaths have been reported in the Middle East region due to the coronavirus, according to health authorities.

In some war-torn nations, it remains difficult to know the scope of the pandemic as well. In Yemen for instance, it’s believed that the vast majority of the country’s cases have gone undiagnosed and untreated, and health workers have said only those who are near death are usually brought to hospitals.