ANKARA — Ankara on Nov. 5 said it had never authorized a shipment of weapons which authorities in Yemen seized at the weekend and is believed to have originated in Turkey.
“We certainly have not authorized such a shipment of weapons. It is not thinkable to OK such arms exports to countries where conflict risks are high and where it could result in more deaths,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
The weapons, seized in the port of Aden on Nov. 3, were concealed in biscuit boxes found in a container sent by a Turkish company, the ministry said, citing information provided by the Yemeni authorities.
The foreign ministry said an investigation had been launched.
“Turkey will continue to support the security and stability needed for Yemen’s reconciliation process in various ways and will firmly oppose any initiative that could negatively affect this process,” the statement added.
Yemen is already awash with weapons. The impoverished southern Arabian Peninsula nation is prey to attacks in the east and south blamed on al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, that have become more frequent in the wake of a 2011 popular uprising that forced out veteran strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh.