Poll: Egyptians want aid from Iran, Turkey, not US (JERUSALEM POST) By OREN KESSLER 04/01/12)
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An overwhelming majority of Egyptians support replacing US economic
aid with funds from Iran or Turkey, according to new poll results,
while the proportion of those viewing the treaty with Israel as
positive has remained steady at just under half.
Eighty-two percent of Egyptians questioned opposed US economic aid to
Egypt - according to figures released this weekend by the US-based
Gallup polling organization - up from 71% in December 2011 and 52% in
April of that year.
The latest figures, released in 2010, show US assistance to Egypt
standing at $1.7 billion - the fifth-highest foreign-aid package
after Afghanistan, Pakistan, Israel and Iraq. Still, $1.3 billion of
that sum is earmarked for military purposes, and Egypt´s ruling
Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has given no indication it
intends to cut its portion of Washington´s package.
Egyptians´ attitudes toward US aid appeared to have soured at the
same time as American and European NGO employees faced charges of
illegally accepting foreign funds and stirring unrest. The military
council closed the NGOs in December, but a month ago dropped the
charges against the six US workers and lifted the travel ban against
Still, the NGO saga continues to stir strong emotions among ordinary
citizens in Egypt, and the country´s parliamentary speaker -
representing the Muslim Brotherhood - has called for an investigation
into how the decision to remove the travel ban was issued.
A Gallup poll released last month found 56% of Egyptians view closer
relations with the US as bad for their country, up from 40% in
December of last year. Just over a quarter say closer relations with
Washington are a positive thing, compared with 41% who favor closer
ties with Iran and 60% with Turkey.
Turkey has been one of the biggest winners of the Arab revolts, as
people around the Muslim world look to its ruling Justice and
Development Party as a model for combining Islamic values with
economic growth (the number of Egyptians expressing approval for the
Ankara government grew 22% since April 2011 to 37%).
US President Barack Obama has made rapprochement with the Muslim
world one of his signature foreign-policy objectives, making a well-
publicized address in Cairo in June 2009 and calling for the ouster
of then-president Hosni Mubarak - a key US ally for three decades -
just days into the popular uprising against him in February 2011.
Still, the latest results indicate only 19% of Egyptians express
approval of US government policy, while 65% disapprove and the rest
The number of Egyptians who view the peace treaty with Israel as a
good thing remained largely steady since 10 months ago at just under
half, while 42% said it was bad and the rest were undecided.
On the whole, Egyptians said they view their country as a rising
power on the world stage. Nearly eight in ten expect Egypt´s
geopolitical position to improve due to Mubarak´s resignation, around
the same figure as in the immediate aftermath of the longtime
Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh - a presidential contender and ex-
Brotherhood leader who left the group after it said it wouldn´t field
a candidate - told Egyptian TV last month that as president, he
would not maintain relations with anyone who "harms the relations of
Asked if he would recognize Israel, he said, "I have not recognized
Israel to this day, and will not recognize Israel... But my refusal
to recognize Israel does not mean, in any way, that I will impose my
view upon the Egyptian parliament or Egyptian people, or that I will
impose what I believe in at the expense of Egypt´s interests." (©
1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 04/01/12)
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