Gallup: Most Egyptians oppose stronger relations with US but see value in peace with Israel

A majority of Egyptians view closer relations with the US as a negative thing for their country, Gallup said on Friday, demonstrating how Egyptians are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with Egypt-US relations.

recent poll by Gallup found that 56 percent of Egyptians believe strong relations with the US “will harm the country,” compared to 40 percent in December 2011.

Only 28 percent of the respondents said they think closer relations with the US would be something “good.”  Twice as many said strong relations with Turkey would be good. Forty percent of the respondents described closer relations with Iran as being good. 

Approximately 1,000 people responded to the poll, which was conducted in January and February.

“The surge in Egyptian negativity documented by Gallup surveys coincides with a difficult period in U.S.-Egyptian relations. At about the same time as the Jan. 31-Feb. 7, 2012 survey, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces closed a series of high-profile American and Egyptian non-governmental organizations (NGOs),” said Gallup.

On Thursday, the Obama administration told Congress that it will waive democracy requirements to release up to US$1.5 billion in aid to Egypt, most of it military aid, despite concerns that Egypt is not moving forward towards democracy.

The Gallup poll also said that nearly half of Egyptians see value in the peace treaty with Israel signed in 1979.

“The percentage of Egyptians who view their country's peace treaty with Israel as a good thing continues to exceed the percentage who says it is a bad thing. Nearly half of Egyptians (48 percent) surveyed in February said the Israel peace treaty is a good thing — consistent with opinion through most of the post-Hosni Mubarak era,” said Gallup.

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