Canada and Turkey have reached an agreement to resume exports of drone parts by Canada in exchange for greater transparency on where drone parts are used, and will take effect after Ankara completes ratification of Sweden’s NATO bid. Two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
After 20 months of delays, Turkey quickly approved Sweden’s membership in the Western military alliance this week through a parliamentary vote and presidential approval, making Hungary the only ally that has not yet ratified it.
Turkey is expected to send a final document to Washington as early as Friday, paving the way for Canada to immediately lift export restrictions it introduced in 2020, two sources familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity. Ta.
The deal was reached in early January after months of talks, according to people familiar with the process. Another person familiar with the plan said the two countries had agreed that it would come into force after Sweden’s ratification.
Türkiye’s Foreign Ministry declined to comment.
Charlotte MacLeod, a spokeswoman for Canada’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told Reuters that while export controls remain in place, Ottawa is seeking to resolve the issue with Turkey given its status as a NATO ally.
“Canada and Turkey will continue to have a frank exchange of views on bilateral, economic and commercial relations,” she said.
Sweden’s lengthy bidding process irritated some NATO allies who saw what they saw as Turkey’s transactional approach and led to concessions from Stockholm and other allies on arms exports and counterterrorism.
U.S. leaders said Turkey’s ratification of Sweden’s membership in NATO clears the way for Turkey’s long-desired purchase of American F-16 fighter jets.
In 2020, Canada suspended sales of drone technology to Turkey after concluding that optical equipment installed on Turkish-made drones was used by Azerbaijan during fighting against Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh. The enclave was later recaptured by Baku.
Ottawa halted talks for a 2022 termination after Ankara expressed opposition to both Finland and Sweden’s NATO bids. However, Reuters reported at the time that talks resumed after the NATO summit in July last year.
End user transparency
Under the agreement, Ankara will provide information to Ottawa about the end users of Canadian-made equipment, especially when re-exported to non-NATO countries, the people said.
The ‘notification process’, a standard for international arms trade, covers Wescam sensors used in Turkey’s Bayraktar TB2 drone and other dual-use goods and arms-related exports.
The first official said the agreement improves transparency and communication between the two countries, and that disagreements in 2021 when Canada alleged Azerbaijan’s use of camera equipment violated Turkey’s end-user guarantees. He said the aim was to avoid a repeat.
The Turkish government has repeatedly criticized export restrictions, saying they go against the spirit of the NATO alliance. In the past, it has faced embargoes from France, Germany and Sweden over tensions in the eastern Mediterranean and operations in northern Syria.
The Turkish government has urged Canada to lift restrictions, but also said it will soon be able to produce imported drone parts, including optical equipment, locally. Several countries, including Ukraine, Ethiopia and Pakistan, have purchased Turkish drones following their battlefield successes.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday that it had invited Canada’s Deputy Foreign Minister Cindy Termorshuizen for talks on “regional and international issues”, without providing details.
President Tayyip Erdogan said Friday that Turkey’s ratification of Sweden has been welcomed by “Canada, Sweden and all Western countries” and is seen as a source of strength within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). .
Under NATO rules, Turkey must deposit the final document (ratification document) in the archives of the US State Department to complete Sweden’s ratification.
Canada became the first NATO member to ratify Sweden’s membership bid in 2022 after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.