SIPRI: Conflicts fuel weapon deliveries to Middle East, Asia

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(Dunya News) - Pakistan's arms imports from United States of America have plummeted by massive 76pc during the period of 2013-17, reported Stockholm International Research Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). It said that from 2013 to 2017 the world's top weapons exporters were U.S. and Russian Federation.

A SIPRI report on trends in global arms transfers also reflects the changing geopolitics of South Asia, with sales of weapons to Pakistan by the United States dropping by a significant 76 per cent in the past five years.

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

The U.S. share of arms sales is up from 30 percent recorded in the 2008-12 period, SIPRI said.

"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".

The volume of global transfers of major weapons in 2013-17 was 10 per cent higher than in 2008-12.

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"In 2013-17 China accounted for 68 per cent of Myanmar's arms imports, followed by Russian Federation with 15 per cent". However, German arms exports to the Middle East increased by 109 per cent.

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. While Pakistan was the main recipient of China's arms exports in 2013-17, there were large increases in Chinese arms exports to Algeria and Bangladesh in that period.

"Based on deals signed during the Obama administration, United States arms deliveries in 2013-17 reached their highest level since the late 1990s", said Dr Aude Fleurant, the director of the Sipri's arms and military expenditure programme.

"Yet the U.S. and European states remain the main arms exporters to the region and supplied over 98 percent of weapons imported by Saudi Arabia". Arms imports by Egypt grew by 215 per cent over the past ten years, making it now the third-largest importer in the world. Overall, Russian arms sales fell 7 percent from the prevoius five-year period.

The rivalry between America and China has seen both sides step up global arms sales and transfers as they seek to strengthen military ties with key allies, according to a report published on Monday.

The United States accounts for 61 percent of arms imports to Saudi Arabia and Britain for 23 percent. In fact, Indian arms imports have increased in the past five years, despite a continued push for indigenous production.

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