Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

United States and European arms sales to Middle East soar amid widespread conflict

United States and European arms sales to Middle East soar amid widespread conflict

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) said on Monday that worldwide exchange of significant weapons frameworks in the vicinity of 2013 and 2017 rose by 10% contrasted and the five-year time frame before that, in a continuation of an upward pattern that started two decades back.

It said Tokyo turned to the U.S. for several types of advanced weapons between 2013 and 2017, including the first batches of a total of 42 combat aircraft. Dhaka procured 71% of its arms from China over the five-year period, and Myanmar 68%.

"This development is part of the growing strategic partnership between the two countries under which the United States of America has begun to supply India with advanced military equipment", the report said.

The US, which is the world's greatest exporter, expanded its deals between those two periods by 25%.

'Based on deals signed during the Obama administration, U.S. arms deliveries in 2013-17 reached their highest level since the late 1990s, ' said Dr Aude Fleurant, Director of the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Programme.

The United States remains the world's top weapons seller, accounting for 34 percent of global arms sales over the past five years, a new study shows.

With the decline in USA military aid, Pakistan's arms imports from China rose from 45% of its total weapons imports in 2008-'12 to 70% in 2013-'17.

Arms exports by Germany - the fourth largest exporter - fell by 14 per cent between 2008-2012 and 2013-2017. "Exports to states in the Middle East accounted for 49 per cent of total U.S. arms exports in that period", the study said. India's arms imports from the U.S. saw a more than six-fold jump.

India was the world's largest importer of major arms in 2013-2017, accounting for 12 percent of the global arms imports.

Tensions between China and Japan in the East China Sea also saw Japan moving closer to the United States, the report said.

The five big exporters - USA, Russia, France, Germany and China -together account for 74% of all arms exports in 2013-17.

Around 35% of China's arms supplies went to Pakistan between 2013 and 2017, followed by 19% to Bangladesh. Arms imports by Egypt-the third largest importer in 2013-17-grew by 215 per cent between 2008-12 and 2013-17.

Despite its continuing tensions with India and ongoing internal conflicts, Pakistan's weapon imports decreased by 36% between 2008-12 and 2013-17.

India, on the other hand, is nowhere on the list of arms exporting nations.

The analyst believes that "major changes" are likely in Turkey in the coming years, as the country becomes less dependent on arms imports, especially from Europe.

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