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Opposition to US foreign policy increases in Arab world

October 27, 2017 at 2:50 am

Image of US President Donald Trump [REUTERS/Lucas Jackson]

Negative attitude toward the US foreign policy in the Middle East has increased in the Arab world, a Washington-based think tank said Thursday. Arab Center Washington DC (ACW), and the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS) announced the result of its a month-long survey in eight Arab countries about President Donald Trump and the US foreign policy.

The polling, done between Sept. 14th and Oct. 13th, 2017, surveyed a randomly selected sample of 3,200 respondents in Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia, with an average of 400 respondents from each country.

Speaking at a conference in Washington, Tamara Kharroub, assistant executive director of ACW said that almost half (48%) of the Arab public surveyed expressed positive general views of the US however, there is a strong negative impression of US foreign policy in the region.

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She emphasized the survey shows anti-American sentiment in the Arab world targets US foreign policies in the region, and not the US as a country or its population. “Overall, 61% of Arabs surveyed have a negative or somewhat negative attitude toward US policy in the Arab world, in contrast to only 25% who expressed negative or somewhat negative views of the American people,” Kharroub added.

When asked about President Donald Trump’s policy and whether he seemed anti-Muslim or Islamophobic, the majority of Arab respondents (58%) had a negative view of him while 56% viewed Trump as indeed anti-Muslim.

The survey also demonstrated that only 17% of respondents believe that Trump’s presidency has improved US policy toward the Arab world, most of whom were in Saudi Arabia (24%), Egypt (22%), and Kuwait (22%).

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 “The majority believed that Trump has negatively impacted US policy in the Arab world,” it noted. In addition, Kharroub said refusal rates of the survey request were surprisingly high compared to last year and the highest refusal rate were also in Saudi Arabia (56%), Egypt (49%), and Kuwait (45%).

“This might be due to the current political environment where these countries’ leaders have good relations with the President Donald Trump and those contacted may have been concerned about expressing any views related to him that might disagree with those of their government,” it added.