/PRNewswire / -- A new WorldPublicOpinion.org poll finds Egyptians continue to view U.S. foreign policy quite negatively and see President Obama as closely aligned with it. At the same time, Obama has much better ratings than Bush had, and there are signs of thawing feelings toward the U.S.
Asked how much confidence they have in Obama to do the right thing in international affairs, 39 percent say they have some or a lot of confidence -- up sharply from the 8 percent who viewed George W. Bush positively in January 2008. Views of the United States government have also improved with favorable views rising to 46 percent from 27 percent in an August 2008 WorldPublicOpinion.org poll.
However, there has been little change in the views of U.S. foreign policy. Sixty-seven percent say that the U.S. plays a negative role in the world.
Large majorities continue to believe the U.S. has goals to weaken and divide the Islamic world (76%) and control Middle East oil (80%). Eight in 10 say the U.S. is seeking to impose American culture on Muslim countries (80%). Six in ten say it is not a goal of the U.S. to create a Palestinian state. These numbers are virtually unchanged from 2008.
When asked about Obama's goals, Egyptians' views are almost exactly the same as their views of U.S. goals. Sixty percent say they have little or no confidence that Obama will do the right thing in international affairs.
"Egyptians appear to be saying to Obama, 'Show me you are really different,'" comments Steven Kull, director of WorldPublicOpinion.org, a project managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland.
The poll was conducted through face-to-face interviews from April 25-May 12 with 600 urban Egyptians. The margin of error is 4.1 percent.
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