Saudi Arabia

World military expenditure has risen to $1.822 trillion in 2018, representing an increase of 2.6 per cent from 2017, according to new data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The increased figure represents an average spend of $239 per person. The five biggest spenders in 2018 were the United States, China, Saudi Arabia, India and France, which together accounted for 60 per cent of global military spending. Military spending by the USA increased for the first time since 2010, while spending by China grew for the 24th consecutive year.

The British foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has urged Germany to end it’s ban of weapons exports to Saudi Arabia. Hunt has written to his counterpart Heiko Maas, and described how the ban is impacting British companies ability to fulfil their own contracts with Saudi Arabia on a visit to Berlin to discuss Brexit.

Germany has been joined by Finland, Netherlands, and Denmark in a suspension of arms sales to Saudi Arabia. The decisions follow the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and announcements by the United Nations that Yemen is experiencing the worst famine the world has seen for 100 years.

Following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arbian embassy in Istanbul on October 2nd, Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel announced that Germany will halt all arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

The Spanish government has decided to go ahead with the delivery of 400 laser guided missiles to Saudi Arabia, worth more than $10m, a few weeks after saying they would cancel the order.

For the past few years, the Finnish arms trade has been changing. Data compiled by the peace and security think-tank SaferGlobe shows that the largest export region used to be the European Union, since 2015 the top position has been taken by Middle Eastern countries.

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