SIPRI: Egypt's arms imports skyrocket amidst greater security threats

Arms imports to Middle East jump 103 percent in 5 years

This is reported by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), quoted by DPA.

USA arms exports jumped 25 percent in the 2013-2017 period compared with the previous five years, the SIPRI study showed.

But who is the second largest importer of weapons after India?

Weapons reportedly seized by Syria's armed forces during a military operation against ISIS in the eastern Syrian city of Deir Ezzor, on November 5. "Its imports increased by 24% between 2008-12 and 2013-17", SIPRI, which monitors global arms transfers, said in the report released on Monday. Less than half of United States exports go to the Middle East and one third to Asia. The U.S. negotiated a package of about $110 billion in arms sales during Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia in May previous year.

"Yet the U.S. and European states remain the main arms exporters to the region and supplied over 98 percent of weapons imported by Saudi Arabia". More than half of Russian exports were directed to India, China and Vietnam.

France, Germany and China were likewise among the main five exporters.

Saudi Arabia - which is waging a war against Shiite Houthi rebels backed by its regional rival Iran - is the world's second largest importer of arms after India, SIPRI said.

According to details, Pakistan accounted for 2.7pc of global arms imports during the aforementioned period.

"The tensions between India, on the one side, and Pakistan and China, on the other, are fueling India's growing demand for major weapons, which it remains unable to produce itself, ' said SIPRI researcher Siemon Wezeman".

China's arms import slipped by 19 percent between 2008-12 and 2013-17 as the country produced its own advanced weapons.

The UK, which rolled out a red carpet for the Saudi crown prince on his visit to London last week, exported almost half of its arms to the Saudi Arabia, which has increased its imports by 225%.

The U.S. reportedly supplied weapons to some 98 states with 49 percent of sales going toward the Middle East, where American weapons have ended up in the hands of countries charged with human rights abuses and militant groups labeled terrorist organizations accused of destabilizing the region.

"Based on deals signed during the Obama administration, USA arms deliveries in 2013-17 reached their highest level since the late 1990s", said Aude Fleurant, the director of the Sipri's arms and military expenditure programme.

Arms imports by African states decreased by 22 per cent between 2008-12 and 2013-17. Venezuela's arms imports fell by 40 per cent between the two periods. This was "due to United States perceptions that Pakistan was not fully committed to combating the Taliban", the report said.

During the same period, China's weapons exports to Pakistan augmented by healthy 35pc and the latter remained biggest buyer of Chinese-made weapons. The report found this maneuver to be a direct violation of the Arms Trade Treaty, and SIPRI wrote Monday that the rising number of weapons sales overseas meant such worldwide agreements needed to be enhanced and enforced.

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