Poll: Egyptian majority disapproves of relations with the US


Egyptian protesters burn the US flag outside the American embassy in Cairo on March 9 before clashes broke out with security forces.



In four months, the share of Egyptians who oppose having relations with the US has nearly doubled, with a majority now saying this a “bad thing,” according to a poll released today by Gallup.

The rise in animosity coincides with a confrontation over the presence of US-funded non-governmental organizations and the prosecution of American employees.

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According to Gallup, 40 percent of Egyptians in December opposed relations with the US but now 56 percent share this opinion and only 28 percent say relations with the US are a good thing. Meanwhile, 60 percent say closer relations with Turkey would be desirable and 41 percent say Iran would be good to have.

The survey was conducted among 1,000 adults aged 15 or older between Jan 31 and Feb 7 and has a margin of error of 3.4 percent.

Time wrote in September that Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erogan was greeted “like a rock star” during a visit to Egypt. But accoprding to Gallup, only 37 percent of those polled approve of Turkish leadership. Likewise 58 percent approve of the job that the leaders of Iran are doing and 65 percent disapprove of the conduct of the US government.

Israel may take comfort in the polls results — which Gallup says conforms with consistent survey data since the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak over a year ago — showing that the sizeable plurality of Egyptians who favor peace with Israel is greater than those who do not.

Forty-eight percent say the 1979 peace with Israel is a good thing, whereas 42 percent do not. Interestingly, according to Gallup, Islamists are no more likely than others to oppose peace with the Jewish state.

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The US today announced it was releasing $1.3 billion in aid to the Egyptian military even though Egypt had failed to Washington’s benchmarks in its transition to democracy 13 months since protesters toppled Mubarak.