India is world's largest arms importer

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India is world's largest arms importer

"The increased flow of arms raises concerns over their impact on worldwide peace and security", says Ambassador Jan Eliasson, Chair of the SIPRI Governing Board. "China delivered major arms to 48 countries in 2013-17". The US and European countries, including Germany, supplied the bulk of the weapons.

The Trump administration was nearing completion of a new "Buy American" plan that calls for US military attaches and diplomats to help drum up business for the USA weapons industry, according to media reports in January. "Its imports increased by 24% between 2008-12 and 2013-17", SIPRI, which monitors global arms transfers, said in the report released on Monday.

"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 for SIPRI, told the Guardian.

The most active buyers of the weapons were India, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

The SIPRI report stated that India-Pakistan's arch nemesis-remained the highest imported of the weapons, accounting 12pc of the global arms imports.

France, Germany and China were also among the top five exporters.

About a large portion of U.S. arms trades in the course of recent years have gone to the war-stricken Middle East, with Saudi Arabia merging its place as the world's second greatest merchant, a report has appeared.

On the other hand, India - which has been accelerating its relationship with the USA over the past several years from more military exercises to a path-breaking logistics sharing agreement - has recorded a 557 per cent increase in arms deliveries from Washington in 2013-17 as compared to the past.

The administration of US President Donald Trump has dubbed China as a "rival", and the latest SIPRI report shows how the US has used arms transfers as a foreign policy tool to offset Beijing's growing influence.

Arms exports to the Middle East, Asia and Oceania increased, while there was a decrease in the flow of arms to Africa, the Americas and Europe. Its largest arms supplier was Russian Federation, from which it bought 62% of its weaponry.

China's arms import slipped by 19 percent between 2008-12 and 2013-17 as the country produced its own advanced weapons.

"The tensions between India, on the one side, and Pakistan and China, on the other, are fuelling India's growing demand for major weapons, which it remains unable to produce itself", said Wezeman.

Arms imports by African states decreased by 22 per cent between 2008-12 and 2013-17.

Notably, Algeria accounted for 52 percent of all African imports over the last five years.

Nigeria's arms imports grew by 42 per cent between 2008-12 and 2013-17. Venezuela's arms imports fell by 40 per cent between the two periods.

It said Tokyo turned to the United States for several types of advanced weapons between 2013 and 2017, including the first batches of a total of 42 combat aircraft.

Indonesia increased its arms imports by 193 per cent between 2008-12 and 2013-17. The SIPRI Arms Transfers Database contains information on all global transfers of major weapons, since 1950.

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