Monday, April 27, 2009

UAE imports weapons on a large scale - fear of Iran?

The United Arab Emirates has become the world's third-largest importer of weapons after China and India, rising from 16th place in just four years, a Swedish think tank has reported. The UAE has become the biggest importer of arms in the Middle East, receiving 34 per cent of weapons sent to the region, the Stockholm International Peace Research Insititute (Sipri) says.

In a report on arms transfers, released on Monday, it said the UAE bought 80 F-16E combat aircraft from the United States and and 50 Mirage 2000-9 fighters from France over the last four years. Owen Fay, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Doha, said the UAE's proximity to Iran could be behind its increased military spend, which is expected to exceed $7bn this year. MORE ON AL-JAZEERAH

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