SIPRI: Conflicts fuel weapon deliveries to Middle East, Asia

Michele Moreno
March 13, 2018

(Dunya News) - Pakistan's arms imports from U.S. have plummeted by massive 76pc during the period of 2013-17, reported Stockholm International Research Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Arms imports by Egypt-the third largest importer in 2013-17-grew by 215 per cent between 2008-12 and 2013-17.

Russian Federation continues to dominate the Indian arms market, supplying 62% of the hardware that New Delhi imports.

Saudi Arabia, which is leading a massive military campaign against Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, saw its arms imports increase by a staggering 225 percent in the 2013-2017 period compared with 2008-2012.

Some 31 percent of major weapons exports in the region was received by Saudi Arabia, according to report. The U.S. supplied major arms to 98 states in 2013-17, with states in the Middle East accounting for 49 percent.

India remained the world's largest arms importer between 2013 and 2017, accounting for almost 12% of the global imports whereas its arch-rival Pakistan's military purchase dropped by 36% in the same period.

Arms exports by Germany - the fourth largest exporter - fell by 14 per cent between 2008-2012 and 2013-2017.

About Pakistan, the report said that the country's arms imports went down by 36 per cent between 2008-12 and 2013-17.

The US remained the biggest arms seller, accounting for 34 per cent of global arms exports. In fact, Indian arms imports have increased in the past five years, despite a continued push for indigenous production.

Aude Fleurant, director of the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Programme, said that USA arms sales surged to their highest level since the 1990s under the administration of former President Barack Obama.

"In 2008-12 Pakistan received substantial military aid from the United States, including 28 combat aircraft and five maritime patrol aircraft".

"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, by contrast, is becoming increasingly capable of producing its own weapons and continues to strengthen its relations with Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar through arms supplies'. "We don't know if what we see is the tip of the iceberg or most of the iceberg when something is found", he says, noting that serious, reputable shipping companies are unlikely to be involved in taking such risks. Saudi Arabia's shopping list included 78 combat aircraft, 72 combat helicopters and 328 tanks.

It said Tokyo turned to the USA for several types of advanced weapons between 2013 and 2017, including the first batches of a total of 42 combat aircraft.

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 UK is the 6th greatest weapons exporter.

Other reports by Insurance News

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