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Poll: Some Arab countries view U.S. better

June 1, 2009 at 3:46 PM

PRINCETON, N.J., June 1 (UPI) -- Approval of U.S. leadership has risen in the Middle East, even though approval of U.S. direction remains low in 11 Arab countries, a poll indicated Monday.

Gallup Polls in 11 Arab countries indicated ratings are up in eight of the countries polled, including Egypt, where President Barack Obama will speak Thursday in Cairo.

Surveys conducted about two months into Obama's presidency show median approval of U.S. leadership across the 11 Arab countries surveyed at 25 percent, ranging from a low of 7 percent in the Palestinian Territories to a high of 56 percent in Mauritania.

In eight Arab countries, Gallup said its surveys reported double-digit increases in approval from the last measurements of Bush's term, when U.S. leadership approval ratings in many Arab countries were at times in the single digits.

Approval ratings plunged from 13 percent to 7 percent in the Palestinian Territories, while Yemen and Lebanon approval ratings in 2009 didn't change significantly over 2008.

Results are based on face-to-face interviews with approximately 1,000 adults, aged 15 and older, in February and March 2009 in Egypt, the Palestinian Territories, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Tunisia, Algeria, Mauritania, Yemen, Lebanon and Kuwait. Results of the total sample of national adults have a margin of error ranging from 3.3 percentage points to 3.8 percentage points.

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