International statistics revealed a record rise in the deals of the ruling regime in the UAE to import weapons and military equipment during the past five years, in light of its involvement in wars and foreign military interventions.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said that the UAE is still considered one of the ten most countries that import weapons, and increased its import over the past five years, as it ranked eighth globally.
This is a natural development for the violent state-led foreign policy in the Middle East and North Africa, with support for armed militias and engaging in destructive wars such as those in Yemen and Libya.
In the newly released report, the specialized international institute accused the UAE of supplying its allies in Libya with weapons, including combat aircraft, and tons of weapons.
The report showed that arms imports have increased by 61% in the Middle East in the past five years, compared to the previous five years (2009-2014). This is due to the involvement of the UAE and Saudi Arabia in several wars in the region.
The UAE ranked No. 8 globally among the largest arms importers in the world from 2015 to 2019.
As during the mentioned period, the UAE imported 3.4 percent of global arms imports, received huge weapons from 17 countries in the same period, and the United States acquired 68 percent of the UAE’s arms imports.
The report said, “Saudi Arabia received 35 percent of arms transfers to the Middle East, Egypt (16 percent), the United Arab Emirates (9.7 percent), Iraq (9.7 percent) and Qatar (9.6 percent). The United States provided 53 percent of total arms transfers to the region, France 12 percent and Russia 11 percent. ”
The report stated that arms transfers to parties to the conflict in Libya continued, with the war between the internationally recognized Libyan National Accord government and the UAE-backed General Khalifa Haftar’s forces, which began in 2014 in 2019. The two sides obtained weapons from abroad in violation of a decision The UN embargo is imposed on Libya, but no country has been punished for this.
The report said: Haftar forces received armored vehicles from Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, combat helicopters from Belarus, supplied through the Emirates, and combat aircraft from Egypt. Combat aircraft and armed drones arriving from the UAE have been used in the fighting, including in 2019. It is unclear whether they are being operated by Emirati officers, or if they only supplied them to Haftar’s forces.
The report added that the UAE’s intervention in Libya is part of its violent foreign policy, which also includes its military intervention in Yemen.
The report stated that in 2019, when the United Nations Security Council condemned foreign military intervention in Libya, the UAE entered into major arms import deals with Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The UAE has increased the payment of huge weapons to “Haftar” during the past months, and the American magazine Foreign Policy monitored the transportation operations.
The magazine said that since the middle of last January, the Emiratis have transported more than 100 cargo planes to Libya (or western Egypt, near the Libyan border). These planes are likely to carry thousands of tons of military equipment. While other indications say that the number of Emirati fighters in Libya has also increased.