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Arab world has mixed views on Obama

Washington, May 25 (ANI): A new survey has found that just over half of the Arab respondents from six countries say they are “somewhat hopeful” or “very hopeful” about US President Barack Obama’s Middle East policy.

A Jerusalem Post report says that twenty-eight percent are neither hopeful nor discouraged, while 14 percent are somewhat discouraged or very discouraged.

The 2009 Annual Arab Public Opinion Survey also found that 77 percent of respondents have a “very unfavorable” or “somewhat unfavorable” attitude toward the United States, down from 83 percent last year.
And most considered Israel and the United States, in that order, to be the countries that posed the greatest threat to them.

The results of the survey, conducted by the University of Maryland with Zogby International, were released ahead of Obama’s highly anticipated address to the Muslim world, to be delivered in Cairo on June 4th.

The poll queried nearly 4,090 respondents during April-May 2009 from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
According to the survey, the most central issues in judging the Obama administration will be his performance on Iraq, the Arab-Palestinian conflict and attitudes toward the Arab and Muslim world.

Obama has made a special effort to reach out to the Arab and Muslim world since he took office earlier this year, apparently attempting to refashion America’s foreign policy image, which took a beating during the previous US administration.

The poll, which has an error margin of 1.6 percent, also found that 45 percent of respondents have very positive or somewhat positive views of Obama himself, while 24 percent have somewhat negative or very negative views. (ANI)

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