US still unpopular in Egypt: Poll surveys
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Last Updated: Tuesday, April 26, 2011, 14:09
Washington: Political change in Egypt has done little to improve the opinion that Egyptians have of the United States, according to a poll.

Only 22 per cent of Egyptians said that the United States had a positive impact on the political situation in Egypt, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Centre.

According to the survey, 39 per cent said the United States had a negative impact, and 35 per cent said that it had neutral impact.

Washington, which was closely tied to the authoritarian regime of ousted president Hosni Mubarak, is supporting the transition to democracy in Egypt.

Yet 79 per cent of those asked in the Pew survey had an unfavourable view of the United States, a tiny change from 82 per cent in a similar poll in 2010. Twenty per cent have a favourable view of the United States against 17 percent in last year's poll.

In a key June 2009 speech in Cairo, President Barack Obama called for better relations between the United States and the Muslim world.

Yet according to the poll, 64 per cent have little or no confidence in Obama -- up from 59 per cent in 2010 -- against 35 percent who have a lot or some confidence in him, up from 33 per cent last year.

More broadly, 52 percent of those polled disapprove the way Obama is handling calls for political change in places like Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, and Libya, against 45 per cent who approve.

Among those who disapprove, 42 per cent say that Obama has been too timid in showing support for those calling for change.

Concerning bilateral relations, 40 per cent of those surveyed want Egypt to maintain relations unchanged with the United States and 15 percent are hoping closer ties, against 43 per cent who want Cairo to distance itself from Washington.

Separately, 77 per cent of those surveyed said that Mubarak's resignation was a good thing, and 65 per cent are satisfied with the way things are going in Egypt.

The Pew Global Attitudes Project survey was conducted March 24-April 7 in personal interviews with a representative sample of 1,000 adults in Egypt. The survey has a plus or minus 4 per cent margin of error.

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, April 26, 2011, 14:09

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