Saudi Arabia, which is leading a war on Yemen, is the world’s second-largest arms importer, according to a new report. Riyadh’s arms imports increased 212 percent compared with 2007-11, with the US remaining the world’s top weapons exporter.
Between 2007 – 2011 and 2012 – 2016 arms imports by states in the Middle East rose by 86 percent, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said on Monday.
India was the world’s largest importer of major arms in 2012 – 2016, accounting for 13 percent of the global total, the study said.
“Over the past five years, most states in the Middle East have turned primarily to the USA and Europe in their accelerated pursuit of advanced military capabilities,” Pieter Wezeman, senior researcher with the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Program, said.
“Despite low oil prices, countries in the region continued to order more weapons in 2016, perceiving them as crucial tools for dealing with conflicts and regional tensions,” he added.
With a one-third share of global arms exports, the USA was the top arms exporter in 2012 – 16. Its arms exports increased by 21 percent compared with 2007 – 2011.