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15 Apr 21. How Prince Philip planned his funeral with military precision. Royal Marines to sound Action Stations as coffin is lowered into vault after ceremony that was 18 years in preparation
The naval call Action Stations will be sounded as the Duke of Edinburgh’s body is lowered into the Royal Vault, Buckingham Palace revealed on Thursday, as details of how he planned his funeral with military precision were released.
Prince Philip was the guiding force behind all elements of the arrangements, having meticulously planned the ceremony over at least 18 years.
His final journey will be made on a custom-built Land Rover Defender TD5 130, which he had been quietly modifying since 2003, requesting a repaint in military green to reflect his association with the Armed Forces and making the final adjustments in 2019.
Some of the Duke’s regalia will be displayed on the altar in the chapel, again personally chosen by him and including nods to his Danish and Greek heritage. His musical choices have been adapted to be performed by a reduced choir of four singers.
Although the Queen had to make some “difficult decisions” as she pared down the guest list to just 30 mourners, she included three of her husband’s German relations at his request.
The Palace revealed that the Duke made a specific request for Action Stations, given at sea to summon all hands to battle stations. It will be performed by the Buglers of the Royal Marines and, although it is not often heard at funerals, anyone connected to the Royal Navy can request it.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “It just goes to show the level of detail that the Duke went into around his own funeral service. It’s a fitting testimony, to remind many people who won’t have realised that the Duke saw active service in the Second World War aboard a ship in the Royal Navy.”
His chosen insignia, the medals and decorations conferred on him by the UK and Commonwealth countries, together with his Royal Air Force wings and Field Marshal’s baton, will be sewn onto nine cushions.
They include the Order of the Elephant, Denmark’s highest-ranked honour, and the Order of the Redeemer, the most prestigious decoration awarded by Greece.
Although the entire event has been significantly pared down, royal aides are confident that the final plans – signed off by the Queen – still very much reflect Prince Philip’s wishes.
It will have a strong military and nautical theme, featuring Royal Navy pipers as well as the sailors’ hymn Eternal Father, Strong to Save. More than 700 military personnel from units with links to the Duke are understood to be taking part in the ceremonial elements of the day.
The bearer party that carries the coffin – which will be covered by the Duke’s personal standard, with his sword and naval cap – up the West Steps of the chapel will be founded by the Royal Marines, of which he was Captain General for 64 years. The Last Post will be played to signify that “a soldier has gone to his final rest”.
As details of the funeral were released by Buckingham Palace, it was confirmed that the Queen will have to sit alone for the 50-minute ceremony, with guests placed two metres apart to adhere to strict social distancing guidelines. Like all 30 mourners, she will wear a face mask throughout.
Among the select group of attendees will be three of the Duke’s German relations – Bernhard, the Hereditary Prince of Baden; Donatus, Prince and Landgrave of Hesse, and Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, all of whom are said to be isolating at the home of a mutual friend in Ascot, Berkshire.
The inclusion of two great-nephews and a distant cousin is again understood to have been made at the Duke’s behest, a reflection of how close he had remained to his own family.
There will be no congregational singing during the funeral, with the small choir of four performing each piece of music chosen by the Duke as well as the National Anthem.
Members of the Royal family will not wear military uniform after the Queen decreed that they should wear morning coats with medals or day dress instead. The move, which breaks with centuries of royal tradition, has been made in order to present a united family front at Saturday’s carefully-choreographed ceremony.
The Duke of Sussex faced the prospect of being the only senior royal not in military dress despite twice seeing active service in Afghanistan after he was forced to give up his honorary military titles after moving to the US last year.
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson on Thursday paid tribute to the Duke’s “amazingly distinguished” naval career during a visit to the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, where Prince Philip was a cadet and where he is first thought to have met the 13-year-old Princess Elizabeth in 1939.
To commemorate the Duke, the Prime Minister attended a passing out parade at the Devon college, where he congratulated naval cadets as they became officers and spoke to them about their career ambitions.
He said: “We’ve just seen those wonderful cadets become officers themselves and incarnating the finest traditions of the Royal Navy in the way that the Duke did himself.
“And actually, funnily enough, here in this very garden, I think in 1939, the Duke of Edinburgh met the then Princess Elizabeth for the very first time. So our thoughts are with her again today.” (Source: Daily Telegraph)
15 Apr 21. Seven hundred military personnel to be involved in Prince Philip’s funeral. Royal Marines will carry the Duke’s coffin, which will bear his cap and sword, into the chapel. Even in a pared down ceremony more than 700 military personnel will take part in the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh tomorrow. Detachments representing all the ships, naval stations, regiments and other units connected to Prince Philip will be represented. The Royal Marines, of which Prince Philip was Captain General prior to stepping back in 2017, will carry his coffin
The Band of the Grenadier Guards will lead the procession from from the State Entrance of Windsor Castle to St George’s Chapel on Saturday afternoon. Prince Philip was Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, the senior infantry regiment in the army, from 1975 to 2018. He was succeeded by the Duke of York. Lining the route to St George’s chapel will be members of the Royal Gurkha Rifles and the Intelligence Corps.
The Royal Gurkha Rifles consists of three battalions, two based in Kent – one of which is assigned to 16 Air Assault Brigade, the army’s airborne force based around The Parachute Regiment – and one permanently stationed in Brunei.
One of the four Gurkha regiments that amalgamated in 1994 to create the Royal Gurkha Rifles was 7th Duke of Edinburgh’s Own Gurkha Rifles.
The Intelligence Corps, of which Prince Philip was Colonel-in-Chief since 1977, was formed in 1940. It is deployed worldwide in direct support of the army and UK allies.
The Royal Navy and Royal Air Force will also be represented.
Prince Philip was Air Commodore-in-Chief of the Air Training Corps, the cadet force, and Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Northolt, in north east London, since 2012.
RAF Northolt is home to 32 (The Royal) Squadron, which transports senior military and politicians as well as other VIPs including the Royal Family.
The Jaguar Land Rover that will be used to transport the coffin of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at his funeral on Saturday, displayed at Windsor Castle. April 15, 2021. CREDIT: WPA Pool/Getty Images Europe
A piping party from the Royal Navy will signal the start of a national minute silence at 3pm.
Prince Philip saw active service in the Second World War in the Royal Navy in the Mediterranean and Pacific theatres, having joined the service aged 17.
Posted to HMS Valiant in the Mediterranean in 1940, he saw action off North Africa and took part in the victory over the Italian Fleet at Cape Matapan in 1941. Prince Philip was mentioned in Dispatches for his conduct during the action.
Sailors and Royal Marines joined counterparts from the other services in rehearsals for the funeral last weekend.
On Saturday they mustered at HMS Collingwood in Fareham before moving to the Army Training Centre Pirbright to finalise preparations for Saturday’s funeral.
The Duke’s coffin will be covered with his personal standard and will bear his naval cap and sword.
The sailors and Royal Marines have been drawn from selected establishments and units to maintain Covid-secure bubbles.
They are Charlie Company of Taunton-based 40 Commando, HMNB Portsmouth, RNAS Yeovilton and Devonport-based HMS Magpie – a ship with a special connection to the Duke.
The previous HMS Magpie, a frigate, was the only vessel the Duke of Edinburgh commanded. He completed his naval career in 1953.
Royal Marines First Drill, Warrant Officer First Class Steve Payne, said: “The Royal Marines have the honour of bearing the coffin of our former Captain General, His Royal Highness, from the hearse and up into St George’s Chapel, the final part of the ceremonial aspect of the funeral.
“The training comes thick and fast this week to get ourselves up to speed. Personally, I’ve had a lot of high points of my career, but as a drill instructor there can be nothing better than helping to send off the former Captain General in the very best way possible.” (Source: Daily Telegraph)
15 Apr 21. Partnerships Are Vital to U.S. Military, Security Challenges in Europe. U.S. partnerships and alliances are critical to combatting unwelcome actions by adversaries, such as those stemming from Russian aggression, two key defense officials told the House Armed Services Committee today. The United States today informed the Russian government of its intent to hold Russia accountable for a pattern of malign behavior that includes efforts to influence the outcome of the 2020 presidential election; the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service’s compromise of SolarWinds software; and the main intelligence directorate’s efforts to encourage attacks on U.S. and coalition personnel in Afghanistan, Laura K. Cooper, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia said.
“The president is taking hard-and-fast action with appropriately tailored responses to provide a clear signal of our resolve without escalation,” she said.
The United States must continue to take an active role in the region by maintaining a ready and capable force, investing in NATO, and promoting a network of like-minded allies and partners.
Laura K. Cooper, deputy assistant secretary of defense, Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia
Cooper appeared before the committee with Air Force Gen. Tod D. Wolters, commander of the U.S. European Command, to discuss the national security challenges and U.S. force posture in the U.S. European Command area of operation.
Russia’s aggression in eastern Ukraine and its pattern of destabilizing behaviors are examples of the increasingly challenging international security situation, Cooper said.
“The United States is increasingly concerned about Russia’s military buildup of forces along Ukraine’s border and in occupied Crimea,” she told committee members. “Russia now has more troops on the border with Ukraine than at any time since 2014.” She added the Defense Department will continue to support Ukraine’s long-term defense capacity and provide security assistance so the country can more effectively defend itself against Russian aggression.
“To compete in this new landscape, [DOD] is heeding the call of the interim national security strategic guidance and engaging our transatlantic friends with renewed vigor, reclaiming our place in international institutions, and revitalizing America’s unmatched network of allies and partners,” Cooper said.
To meet the security challenges of the NATO alliance, DOD will continue to work with allies to reinvigorate and modernize the alliance’s shared responsibilities and investments equitably, increase allied speed of decision making, and improve military mobility across Europe to improve collective readiness, she said.
Deterrence requires combat-credible, forward-deployed conventional forces to bolster the alliance’s deterrence and defense posture to prevent Russian aggression, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III is conducting a comprehensive DOD-wide global posture review to best align U.S. overseas forces’ presence with presidential national security priorities, Cooper said.
“Our objective is to ensure our broad and deep network of alliances and partnerships endures,” she said. “The United States must continue to take an active role in the region by maintaining a ready and capable force, investing in NATO, and promoting a network of like-minded allies and partners.
“We work closely with our allies and partners to address the evolving challenges posed by our adversaries to secure peace and protect our interest abroad,” Wolters said.
NATO remains the strategic center of gravity and the foundation of deterrence and assurance in Europe, he said. “Everything we do is about generating peace: We compete to win, we deter, and, if deterrence fails, we’re prepared to respond to aggression with the full weight of the transatlantic Alliance.”
The United States’ relationship with European allies and partners remains a key strategic advantage, and we must defend it, Wolters said.
“Success and 21st century warfare demands we embrace competition and all of its associated activities below the level of armed conflict. This is actually as critical as preparations for crisis or conflict themselves. We’re in an era of strategic competition, and winning in this era is all about ensuring that strategic competition does not morph into a global conflict.”
This summer, when Eucom conducts its Defender-series exercises, allies and partners from all warfare domains will demonstrate their ability to “lift and shift” massive forces over large swaths of territory at speed and scale for the eastern periphery of the European continent, Wolters said.
“Our current security posture is strong, yet challenged as evidenced with respect to the activities in Ukraine,” he said. “We possess combat credible capability across all domains — air, land, sea, space and cyber. We will maintain and work to hone this capability to deter our adversaries.” (Source: US DoD)
14 Apr 21. Aerospace body urges government to secure Liberty Steel supply. ADS Group wants continuity of production as Sanjeev Gupta seeks finance after collapse of Greensill. The aerospace industry is calling for the government to intervene to secure the supply of specialist steel products it relies on, amid struggles for funding for Liberty Steel.
Liberty Steel’s owner, Sanjeev Gupta, is urgently seeking finance after the collapse of Greensill Capital, previously its key lender. Liberty Steel is the UK’s third-largest steelmaker employing has about 3,500 workers, while Gupta’s broader GFG metals empire employs about 35,000 people worldwide.
ADS Group, which represents aerospace and defence companies including Airbus and Rolls-Royce, said its members were particularly concerned with maintaining supply from two Liberty Steel sites in Rotherham and Stocksbridge.
The two plants, both in South Yorkshire, produce high-strength steel that it resistant to corrosion, making it a key material for jet engines, landing gear and other parts such as the propellers on smaller aircraft.
Kevin Craven, ADS’s interim chief executive, has written to Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, asking for his “urgent intervention to resolve the situation” before shortages and increased costs hit, according to a copy of the letter seen by the Guardian.
“There are very few alternative sources worldwide for these types of aerospace steel and capacity is limited,” the letter said. “A significant problem with availability of these specialist steels is therefore anticipated once stock is consumed.”
Companies had provided steel suppliers including Liberty with customer guarantees, giving earlier notice of orders and speeding payment for products, ADS said. The letter was first reported by Sky News.
Rolls-Royce, the jet engine manufacturer, has put in a bulk order to Liberty Steel to give it enough steel to last it until the end of the year. The order allowed the company to restart production at Rotherham, according to union sources, after workers were furloughed to save cash.
Kwarteng has indicated that the government is considering options to step in to save Liberty Steel if it falls into administration or liquidation. On Tuesday, he said he was “very keen to see that these assets, which are good assets, continue to operate”.
However, Kwarteng has already turned down a request for a £170m loan from Gupta, citing concerns about Liberty’s opaque corporate structure. There are also concerns about the governance of the company, with questions raised over loans made by Greensill that were tied to invoices for “prospective” work with companies that did not have a relationship with Liberty. Accounts for the Liberty subsidiaries which hold key UK plants are overdue.
Liberty is also trying to see off legal action by Credit Suisse, a bank that backed Greensill, to wind up some of its operations in the UK and Australia.
ADS said: “We are in discussions with our members over any potential implications to our industries in the event that supplies from Liberty Steel were disrupted. All discussions are commercially confidential.
“It is in the interest of our industries for a solution to be found that ensures continuity of production at Liberty’s steelworks.” (Source: Google/Guardian)
13 Apr 21. Government forced to defend Army cuts amid growing threat from Russia. Labour say the Tories have broken a manifesto pledge not to cut the armed forces “in any form.”
Labour will on Wednesday use an opposition day motion to question the Tories over its 2019 election manifesto pledge, in which Boris Johnson said he would “not be cutting the armed services in any form”.
However the recent Command Paper revealed that as part of its pivot towards cyber, the Ministry of Defence would axe more than 100 aircraft, reduce the size of the army from 82,000 to 72,500 and cut a number of tanks.
Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, John Healey said his party wants “to hold the Prime Minister to his pledge not to cut our armed forces”.
He said: “The Government says the threats to the UK are increasing yet they plan fewer troops, fewer ships, fewer planes over the next few years. Ministers must square this circle and back off yet more cuts to the strength of our Armed Forces.
“Ministers confirm that Russia’s modernised land and sea forces are the number one threat to Britain and our allies. They must ensure we are ready to meet the growing threats now and in the years ahead.”
Read more: Defence review 2021: ‘Warhorses’ of the military put out to pasture as new era of fighting technology arrives
It comes as Tobias Ellwood, the Defence Select Committee Chairman, told MPs on Tuesday that the G7’s recent statement, in which it called for Russia to de-escalate regarding its “ongoing build-up of Russian military forces on Ukraine’s borders and in illegally-annexed Crimea”, was a reminder of the need for physical force.
Mr Ellwood said: “It is a reminder that as much as we’ve tilted towards the cyber resilience, conventional capabilities count and perhaps this is the wrong time to be reducing the number of tanks, armoured fighting vehicles and infanteers as well. Force, presence, upstream engaging, holding terrains, absolutely counts in today’s day and age.”
His comments were echoed by retired Rear Admiral Alex Burton, former commander of UK Maritime Forces, who said there was a value “capacity building” offered and “the knowledge that those threatened states have friends”.
“The one thing authoritarian states don’t like is alliances and friends because they lack them,” he said. (Source: Daily Telegraph)
13 Apr 21. General Says NATO Prepared to Respond to Aggression Should Deterrence Fail. Generals provided testimony today regarding tensions on the Russia-Ukraine border and the ability of U.S. allies to move large numbers of forces quickly over great distances.
Air Force Gen. Tod D. Wolters, commander of the U.S. European Command, and Army Gen. Stephen R. Lyons, commander of the U.S. Transportation Command, testified at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing to review the fiscal 2022 defense authorization request and the Future Years Defense Program.
The current NATO security posture in Europe is strong, yet challenged by Russia’s actions in the vicinity of Ukraine, said Wolters, adding that America’s allies and partners in Europe remain a key strategic advantage.
“NATO remains the strategic center of gravity and the foundation of deterrence and assurance in Europe. Everything we do is about generating peace,” said Wolters. “We compete to win. We deter, and, if deterrence fails, we’re prepared to respond to aggression with the full weight of the transatlantic alliance.”
Wolters noted that NATO has a robust exercise program. This summer, NATO will conduct Defender-series exercises composed of some 30,000 U.S. service members, allies and partners.
That exercise will demonstrate NATO’s ability to move massive forces over large swaths of Europe at speed and at scale, he said.
Wolters also mentioned the addition of 500 soldiers to U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden in Germany.
These troops will be made up of field artillery; composite air and missile defense; intelligence, cyberspace, electronic warfare and space; aviation and a brigade support element. The Theater Fires Command will improve readiness and multi-national interoperability by integrating joint and multinational fires in exercises and operations, in support of U.S. Army Europe and Africa, said Army Col. Joe Scrocca, the spokesman for U.S. Army Europe and Africa, in a separate statement today.
“The Theater Fires Command and Multi-Domain Task Force in Europe will enable U.S. Army Europe and Africa to synchronize joint fires and effects, control future long-range fires across all domains, and will create more space, cyber and electronic warfare capabilities in Europe,” Scrocca said.
Lyons told senators that Transcom’s mission is to project forces globally on land, air and sea, including to support the upcoming NATO exercises.
(Source: US DoD)
13 Apr 21. Austin Announces 500 More Service Members to Be Based in Germany. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III announced that, after consultations with German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the United States will base an additional 500 service members in Germany by the fall.
“This planned increase in U.S. personnel underscores our commitment to Germany and the entire NATO alliance,” Austin said in his remarks to Germany’s Ministry of Defense.
The increase reverses the policy of the previous administration, which looked to drastically reduce the number of U.S. forces based in Germany. President Joe Biden announced a policy to freeze that process, which included moving the headquarters for the Stuttgart-based U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command. The president ordered a global posture review to determine how to best station U.S. forces around the world.
“It is great news that not only has the withdrawal of troops…from Germany been halted, but, quite the contrary; we will be able to welcome an additional 500 U.S. troops,” Kramp-Karrenbauer said. “This is a very strong signal of our partnership and friendship.”
Russia’s actions in Georgia, its illegal annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, the continued harassment of Ukraine and other bordering nations, its military build-up, and its increasing use of cyberattacks are concerns in Europe. Germany is no exception; as the economic powerhouse of the continent, Germany is key to responding to these provocations.
“Germany is one of our staunchest allies, and our relationship is built on shared values of freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law,” Austin said. “Today, those principles are increasingly under duress. Amid shifting global dynamics and a challenging security environment, Germany will continue to be an important security and economic partner for the United States in the years ahead.”
The secretary’s visit to Germany is an indication of the value the Biden-Harris administration places on the relationship, officials traveling with the secretary said. It is part and parcel of the administration’s effort to revitalize the series of American alliances worldwide. NATO is the crown jewel of the alliance system.
“Strengthening our relationship with Germany is a top priority for the Biden-Harris administration,” Austin said. “Underscoring our strong commitment to allies and partners is at the forefront of my agenda, this includes advancing our transatlantic partnership, and increasing cooperation with our NATO allies,” he said.
The 500 new U.S. troops will augment existing capabilities, help in the space and cyber domains, and provide more electronic warfare capabilities in Europe. They will “greatly improve our ability to surge forces at a moment’s notice to defend our allies,” he said.
Austin briefed Kramp-Karrenbauer on the global U.S. force posture review, and the two also discussed Afghanistan. The German minister reiterated that NATO went into Afghanistan together and will leave together. The two also discussed areas where the United States and Germany can strengthen cooperation on global challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and combating the malign influence of their shared strategic rivals.
Kramp-Karrenbauer said Germany will send a frigate to the Indo-Pacific that also champions freedom of navigation.
Germany is the first European nation Austin is visiting in his current job. “The visit was important to our country because as you heard President Biden say very early on that … we treasure our alliances,” he said. “That’s how we operate, and we always operate better as a part of a team, and NATO is a great team.” (Source: US DoD)
13 Apr 21. EU defence chief warns coronavirus has weakened security. Claudio Graziano says bloc can do more on technology and maritime co-operation in Asia. General Claudio Graziano says countries that have suffered the most economically from the pandemic could cut defence budgets in the long term. The EU’s defence chief has warned that the coronavirus pandemic has weakened the ability of militaries to respond to security threats, calling for a greater focus on technology and expanding international maritime co-operation. General Claudio Graziano, chair of the EU Military Committee, said that in addition to reduced training missions because of the pandemic, there was a longer-term risk that countries that have suffered a bigger economic hit would cut their defence budgets. “We have the double duty to accomplish the mission and to protect the people [from Covid-19],” Graziano told the Financial Times. Graziano, who leads the committee of defence chiefs from the 27 EU member states, made a brief visit to South Korea against a backdrop of rising concerns over security in Asia. This includes the crisis in Myanmar following the overthrow of Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government in February as well as brewing tensions over China’s disputed claims to Taiwan and the South China Sea and Kim Jong Un’s expanding arsenal of nuclear weapons. Beijing sent 25 warplanes into Taipei’s air defence identification zone on Monday, the largest incursion this year, according to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence. Defence budgets across Europe continued to increase in 2020, up almost 5.6 per cent on the previous year. But they are likely to weaken in 2021, according to defence publication Janes. Global defence spending rose 1.9 per cent to $1.9tn in 2020, but Janes has also forecast a “noticeable slowdown” in expenditure this year. Graziano stressed that the EU should focus on technological research and development in response to the potential threats posed by cyber and hybrid warfare, which involves political and economic aggression. He also warned of the future use of disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence. He added that the EU was moving in the right direction with the 2017 launch of a multibillion-dollar fund for military equipment and tech investment, “even if not as fast as I would like”. “There is a clear understanding that we have to protect our technology, develop our technology and to maintain our technology superiority . . . If you want to be credible, you have to invest the right amount of money, particularly research and development,” the Italian four-star general said. Graziano also acknowledged the Chinese military’s “very long-term planning” and technological ambitions. Nato is increasingly focusing on Beijing’s expanding weaponry and cyber capabilities. Under Xi Jinping, China has pursued its most sweeping military reform and modernisation in decades, with the aim of making the People’s Liberation Army a “world-class” force capable of winning wars anywhere in the world by 2050. Recommended Sophia Besch Europe tests the waters for a stronger defence policy “That poses a security issue for all the world, and of course also for European Union, already now that we have to deal with in the short- to medium-[term] perspective,” Graziano said. Non-Asian countries have taken an increasingly close interest in disputed territories as the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait, which are crucial strategic chokepoints for global trade but also loom as flashpoints of tensions between Washington and Beijing. Graziano suggested that the EU could play a greater role in maritime security with partners in Asia via a “more systematic presence”. But he also noted areas of co-ordination between EU members and China, including counter-piracy efforts. “It is important to maintain China as the priority for the solution to global and regional challenges,” he said. (Source: FT.com)
12 Apr 21. Canada scraps export permits for drone technology to Turkey, complains to Ankara. Canada on Monday scrapped export permits for drone technology to Turkey after concluding that the equipment had been used by Azeri forces fighting Armenia in the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, Foreign Minister Marc Garneau said.
Turkey, which like Canada is a member of NATO, is a key ally of Azerbaijan, whose forces gained territory in the enclave after six weeks of fighting.
“This use was not consistent with Canadian foreign policy, nor end-use assurances given by Turkey,” Garneau said in a statement, adding he had raised his concerns with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu earlier in the day.
Ottawa suspended the permits last October so it could review allegations that Azeri drones used in the conflict had been equipped with imaging and targeting systems made by L3Harris Wescam, the Canada-based unit of L3Harris Technologies Inc.
In a statement, the Turkish Embassy in Ottawa said: “We expect our NATO allies to avoid unconstructive steps that will negatively affect our bilateral relations and undermine alliance solidarity.”
Earlier on Monday, Turkey said Cavusoglu had urged Canada to review the defense industry restrictions.
The parts under embargo include camera systems for Baykar armed drones. Export licenses were suspended in 2019 during Turkish military activities in Syria. Restrictions were then eased, but reimposed during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Turkey’s military exports to Azerbaijan jumped sixfold last year. Sales of drones and other military equipment rose to $77m in September alone before fighting broke out in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, data showed.
11 Apr 21. UK legislation to curb military prosecutions comes under fire. Peers say bill will damage Britain’s standing on the international stage Peers have urged the government to overhaul its overseas operations bill ahead of its latest stage of parliamentary scrutiny in the House of Lords. UK legislation aimed at curbing prosecutions of military personnel has come under fire from peers including ex-military chiefs and a former senior judge who warned it will damage Britain’s integrity on the world stage. The peers have urged the government to overhaul its overseas operations bill ahead of its latest stage of parliamentary scrutiny in the House of Lords this week. The bill, sponsored by the Ministry of Defence, is aimed at limiting vexatious claims against members of the armed forces for crimes committed during overseas deployments. However it has attracted criticism for proposing that all prosecutions, including for torture and other serious crimes, should be brought within five years of an alleged incident, barring exceptional circumstances. Only charges relating to rape and sexual violence would be exempt from the time limit. Lord George Robertson, a former Nato-secretary-general and ex-UK defence secretary, has called on the government to extend its exemption to cover torture, genocide, crimes against humanity and other war crimes, and will propose an amendment to this effect when peers debate the legislation on Tuesday. Robertson said in an online article for the Financial Times that the five year cut-off created “de facto immunity” after that time period, which “opened the door to others questioning the integrity of the UK’s legal processes”. He added this risked inspiring copycat laws in overseas states where “tyrants and war criminals” will be eager to “wipe their slates clean”, warning that Britain could be setting a damaging precedent. Ministers in Sri Lanka — which is under investigation by the UN for offences committed during its civil war, which ended over a decade ago — are looking at Britain’s legislation with interest, according to local media reports. What we mustn’t do is make the world think we don’t see how unacceptable certain things in war are. Lord Alan West Lord David Hope, a retired judge who formerly served as deputy president of the UK Supreme Court, said that subjecting torture prosecutions to the five-year bar was “completely in the teeth” of the UN convention against torture. “It would be a very foolish breach of the obligation under the convention, which doesn’t allow for any derogations or exceptions,” he added. “Everybody has an equal interest in seeing that people who are thought to have committed torture are brought to trial.” Lord Alan West, who served as UK first sea lord and chief of defence intelligence, said he supported the legislation’s aims of protecting troops from long-running and unscrupulous legal challenges, but insisted that it should not allow any room for confusion about Britain’s values. “What we mustn’t do is make the world think we don’t see how unacceptable certain things in war are,” he said, adding that he would be supporting Robertson’s amendment. The MoD has said the legislation will safeguard troops from a voracious legal claims industry which sprung up after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But Fatou Bensouda, prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, has accused the UK of having exaggerated the issue of vexatious claims. In a report published in December, she also warned that applying a five-year statute of limitations would effectively increase the chances of British military personnel being prosecuted by the International Criminal Court. The MoD denied the bill would erode the rule of law, saying that military operations will “continue to be governed by international humanitarian law, including the Geneva conventions”. “The bill is a vital piece of legislation which will address the endless legal cycles and repeated investigations faced by our service personnel in relation to overseas operations,” said the MoD. “The presumption is not an amnesty or a statute of limitations for service personnel, and the bill’s measures do not amount to an unwillingness or inability to investigate or prosecute.” (Source: FT.com)
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