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20 February, 2017

UAE arms show heightens militarism as Yemen war rages on

The United Arab Emirates, a partner to Saudi-led coalition waging a destructive war in Yemen, is eyeing billion-dollar arms deals with local and international companies as an arms show in Abu Dhabi gets underway.

The UAE announced 4.5 billion dirhams ($1.2 billion) worth of military procurement deals on Sunday at the opening of the biennial International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi, which is attended by over 1,200 companies.

Brigadier General Rashid al-Shamsi, an IDEX spokesman, said the figure was part of a total of 20-billion-dirham worth of purchases the UAE expects to make at the arms fair this week, AFP reported.

He said most of the figure will be spent on buying 400 armored personnel carriers worth $544 million from a local manufacturer, adding, "We expect (to award) more than 20 billion dirhams in contracts by the end of Idex."

Australia and the UAE have agreed to consider a 10-year defense plan that could include more than one billion Australian dollars ($767 million) in sales to the UAE.

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