Asia, Middle East lead rising trends in arms imports
ANKARA: The volume of major weapons’ international transfers rose 10 percent in the period between 2013 and 2017, compared to 2008-2012, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on Monday.
“The flow of arms to the Asia and Oceania and the Middle East increased between 2008–2012 and 2013–2017, while there was a decrease in the flow to the Americas, Africa and Europe,” the SIPRI said in its report — titled Trends in International Arms Transfers 2017.
The report revealed that the world’s top five arms importer were India, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and China in the last five years.
“Most countries in the Middle East were directly involved in violent conflict in 2013–17, and arms imports by states in the region increased by 103 percent between 2008–12 and 2013–17,” it said.
Some 31 percent of major weapons exports in the region was received by Saudi Arabia, according to report. It was followed by Egypt — 14 percent — and the U.A.E. — 13 percent.
“Iran, the second most populous state in the Middle East, accounted for 1 percent of arms imports to the region,” it added.
The report said India was the largest arms importer, accounting 12 percent of the global total during 2013 and 2017. “Its imports increased by 24 per cent between 2008–12 and 2013–17.”
China’s arms import slipped by 19 percent between 2008–12 and 2013–17 as the country produced its own advanced weapons.
The report said the U.S, Russia, France, Germany and China were the largest arms exporters, which accounted for 74 percent of total arms exports in the world.
The share of top arms exporter, the US, rose to 34 percent in 2013-2017 from 30 percent in 2008-2012, it said.
“The USA’s exports of major arms grew by 25 percent between 2008–12 and 2013–17, further widening the gap between it and all other arms exporters,” the report read.
The Middle East received almost half of the US arms exports from 2013 to 2017, it said. The report noted that Russian export of major weapons saw a decrease of 7.1 percent during the same period of time due to lower deliveries to its main recipients.
“Deliveries to Algeria and China, for example, continued throughout 2013–17 but were at lower levels than the previous five-year period,” it added. AA