Egypt was the third largest arms importer in 2017, according to a Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) data released on Monday, which states that Egypt took in four percent of global arms transfers last year.
The report also revealed that Egyptian arms imports displayed a noticeable increase in the period between 2013 and 2017, with 215 percent more arms imported during this four-year period than during the preceding four years.
France was the largest exporter of arms to Egypt between 2013-17, providing 37 percent of total arms transfers to the country, replacing the United States, who had maintained the lion’s share of arms imports to Egypt since the 1970s, according to the report.
The US had provided 45 percent of Egypt’s total arms imports between 2008 and 2012. However, with US restrictions imposed on arms transfers to Egypt between 2013-15, the US’s share of arms exports to Egypt has since decreased. Nevertheless, the US exported 84 percent more arms to Egypt between 2013-17 than it did during the 2008-12 period, according to SIPRI.
According to the Sweden-based research institute, the US and Russia followed France as the next largest arms exporters to Egypt during the 2013-17 period, with shares of 26 percent and 21 percent respectively.
Egypt was also the second largest arms importer in the Middle East during the past four years, according to the SIPRI report, which states that countries in the region imported 103 percent more arms during this period than in 2008-12.
The largest regional arms importer between 2013-17 was Saudi Arabia, with the kingdom importing 31 percent of all arms coming into the Middle East. The United Arab Emirates came in third in SIPRI’s rankings, taking in 13 percent of all arms import to the region, just one percent shy of Egypt’s share.
Israel’s arms imports increased by 125 percent between the 2013-17 and 2008-12 periods. In the past four years, Israel imported nine F-35 fighter jets from the US out of a total of 50 the country has contracted, an addition that “significantly strengthens Israel’s options to strike targets throughout the Middle East,” according to the report.