QA: 21, 19 December 2012, Statement of the Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey in Response to a Question

There have been news in the media concerning the seizure of approximately seven thousand pistols originating from Turkey packed in 67 boxes, during vehicle controls carried out at the entrance of the town of Hais on the road to Al Hudayda in Yemen. The allegations in these news items have been forwarded to our relevant authorities and an investigation has been initiated.Meanwhile, Yemeni authorities have also been contacted without delay and detailed information on the matter has been requested from them.

The said delivery of pistols is not based on a license issued by Turkey. In fact, as we have repeatedly emphasized before, authorization of an arms export as such, which could lead to further loss of lives, is not conceivable in a region bearing a high risk of conflict. Moreover, arms exports from our country are carried out in accordance with international regulations on this matter and the related data are shared on the appropriate international platforms in a transparent manner.

Turkey will continue to be prudent and sensitive against all risks that may endanger the political dialogue and reconciliation process carried out with a broad participation in Yemen. During their comprehensive investigation on the origin of the weapons alleged in the news to have been sent from Turkey, as well as on the route and vehicles used in their transport to Yemen, our competent authorities will be taking into consideration all possibilities, including the presence of some circles that might have aimed at negatively affecting Turkish-Yemeni relations.

Turkey will continue to provide every support to strengthen the security and stability needed in Yemen and maintain its firm stance against any initiative that may have negative impact on the process of strengthening the peace and welfare of the friendly and brotherly people of Yemen.