Erdoğan speaks with Trudeau after Canada extends arms sales ban

Turkish Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discussed the latest developments regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in a phone conversation a day after Canada extended an arms embargo on Turkey. 

Erdoğan offered his condolences to Canada following a recent mass shooting in Nova Scotia, according to a Canadian government readout on Thursday. 

“The leaders also discussed the measures in place in each country to protect the health and safety of their citizens and agreed on the need to support developing countries in response to COVID-19. They also highlighted the ongoing need for global coordination, including through the G20, to fight the pandemic and stabilise the global economy,” the statement said. 

The leaders also pledged to keep supply chains open for medical equipment and to work towards accelerating the development of COVID-19 vaccines and treatment. Both countries will collaborate through the Ministerial Coordination Group on COVID-19 led by Canada.

CBC reported on Wednesday that Canada had indefinitely extended a ban on selling arms to its NATO ally Turkey, which was first imposed in October over Turkey’s military operation in northern Syria targeting Syrian Kurdish-led forces who had fought against the Islamic State.