Pakistan's arms imports from United States of America plummet by 76pc: SIPRI

Pakistan's arms imports from United States of America plummet by 76pc: SIPRI

In the period between 2013 and 2017, arms imports to the conflict-ridden Middle East more than doubled, jumping by 103 percent compared with the previous five-year period, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) calculated. Egypt, UAE and China were also among the world's top five importers.

The report showed China delivered major arms to 48 countries in the past five years, with Pakistan topping the list, followed by Bangladesh and Algeria. Much of American exports include military and transport aircraft.

As China became increasingly capable of producing its own advanced weapons, its arms exports increased by 38 per cent and its arms imports decreased by 19 per cent in 2013-2017 compared with 2008-2012. The US, the United Kingdom, and France were the main supplier of arms to the region, while Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE were the main recipient countries.

The report finds that arms imports by states in the Middle East increased by 103 per cent in the two periods from 2008-12 and 2013-17, accounting for nearly a third of global weapons imports in the latter period.

Despite the decrease, it was the world's fifth-largest arms importer in 2013-17.

Arms exports by Russian Federation decreased by over seven percent between 2008-12 and 2013-17, the report says.

Arms imports by Middle Eastern states have more than doubled over the past decade, with the U.S. and European countries the main suppliers of weapons to the region.

"Yet the USA and European states remain the main arms exporters to the region and supplied over 98 percent of weapons imported by Saudi Arabia".

United States arms exports jumped 25 percent in the 2013-2017 period compared with the previous five years, the SIPRI study showed. Less than half of USA exports go to the Middle East and one third to Asia.

India, which receives most of its arms from Russian Federation, heads the list of top importers.

Setting a new trend, China has emerged as the number one arms supplier to Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar, by supplying almost 70% of the arms used by the military in these three nations.

"Based on deals signed during the Obama administration, USA 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 Arab Emirates was the fourth largest importer in 2013-17, while Qatar (the 20th largest arms importer) increased its arms imports and signed several major deals in that period", SIPRI said. In fact, Indian arms imports have increased in the past five years, despite a continued push for indigenous production.

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