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Region’s arms transfers continue to rise

Saudi Arabia became the world’s largest importer of arms in 2014-18, accounting for 12% of global arms sales during the five-year period, according to data compiled by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri). That compares to 4.3% of total sales during the previous five-year period (2009-13). Riyadh’s huge appetite for arms imports helped to drive a strong increase in defence sales for the Middle East as a whole – arms transfers to the region rose by 87% between the two five-year periods.

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