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Global arms sales reach highest level since end of Cold War: study

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-02-20 19:33
STOCKHOLM -- Global arms trade in the last five years has reached its highest point since the end of the Cold War, with the United States remaining the world's largest weapons exporter, a study said on Monday.

The volume of international transfers of major weapons has grown continuously since 2004 and increased by 8.4 percent between 2007-2011 and 2012-2016, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) in Sweden.

As the top arms exporter during the five years through 2016, the United States accounted for a one-third share of all weapon exports worldwide, the study said.

"The USA supplies major arms to at least 100 countries around the world -- significantly more than any other supplier state," said Aude Fleurant, director of the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Program.

Most of the weapons were very expensive and strategically important, she added.

Of all the US exported weapons in the last five years, 47 percent ended up in the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey becoming the top three major buyers.

Saudi Arabia, which launches a military intervention in Yemen in early 2015, was the world's second largest arms importer after India. It increased its intake by 212 percent compared with 2007-2011, mainly from the Untied States and Britain.

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