Almost half of United States arms exports go to the Middle East

India Is World’s Largest Importer Of Weapons With Insatiable Hunger While Pakistan Slashes Import

India is followed by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and China in the list of world's top arms importers.

On Monday, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) published the results of its study of international arms transfers between 2013 and 2017, finding a 10 percent overall increase from the 2008-2012 period.

At the same time, arms deliveries to India from the USA, the world's top weapons exporter, increased more than six-fold in the five-year period, SIPRI calculated. It supplied arms to as many as 98 states worldwide, accounting for more than a third of global exports.

France, Germany, and China were also among the top five exporters followed by the United Kingdom in the sixth place. "Its imports increased by 24 per cent between 2008-12 and 2013-17".

"Yet the US and European states remain the main arms exporters to the region and supplied over 98 percent of weapons imported by Saudi Arabia". Exports to states in the Middle East accounted for 49 per cent of total USA arms exports in that period.

United States arms exports jumped 25 percent in the 2013-2017 period compared with the previous five years, the SIPRI study showed. France, the third exporter increased sales by 27% for the last few years, but Germany, on the contrary - decreased by 14%.

India's imports increased by 24% between 2008-12 and 2013-17, according to the report and majority of the firearms were sourced from India's long-time supplier Russian Federation, which accounted for 62 per cent of India's arms imports in 2013-17.

The study further said that China has increasingly been becoming capable of producing its own weapons, and maintaining itself as a supplier in the region by maintaining good relations with Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Despite its continuing tensions with India and ongoing internal conflicts, Pakistan's arms imports decreased by 36 percent.

"Deliveries to Algeria and China, for example, continued throughout 2013-17 but were at lower levels than the previous five-year period", it added. The United States in this period has made 34% of world sales by supplying weapons to at least 98 countries. While it was the world's fifth largest arms importer in 2013-17, China has also emerged as the fifth largest arms exporter, with exportsrising by 38% between 2008-12 and 2013-17.

"Widespread violent conflict in the Middle East and concerns about human rights have led to political debate in Western Europe and North America about restricting arms sales", Pieter Wezeman, senior researcher with the Sipri Arms and Military Expenditure Programme said in a statement.

Algeria accounted for 52 per cent of all African imports in 2013-17. This was "due to U.S. perceptions that Pakistan was not fully committed to combating the Taliban", the report said.

SIPRI, an independent institute, monitors arms deliveries by volume over periods of five years in order to iron out short-term fluctuations. Earlier this year, the German government said it would stop approving arms exports to anyone participating in the war in Yemen.

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