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Russia’s Putin Twice As Popular As US President Biden In ME And African States: Poll


Russia and Beijing are already playing more important roles in the Middle East and North Africa than ten years ago, and in another decade could rival US influence in the region, according to a recent opinion poll.

The poll was conducted by Al-Monitor in partnership with data analytics firm Premise across Egypt, Türkiye, Iraq and Tunisia between March 4 and March 22, 2024, and questioned 2,670 respondents in the four states about their views on power dynamics in the region.

When asked which of the three world leaders they viewed “most favorably,” some 44.4% chose Russian President Vladimir Putin, followed by Chinese President Xi Jinping with some 33.8%, while only 21.7% said they preferred US President Joe Biden.

Putin was seen more favorably across all four states, most of all in Egypt (51.6%). Biden was slightly more popular in Iraq (29.2%) of all states, but still polled third after Putin (35.5%) and Xi (35.3%).

Al-Monitor suggested that Washington’s popularity suffered due to its support of Israel’s war in Gaza, but noted that a multitude of other factors could be influencing opinions. The respondents were almost split on whether Washington (30%) or Moscow (28%) could “most successfully mediate political disagreements in the Middle East.” However, over 40% agreed that the US was still “best equipped to help resolve the Israel-Hamas war,” compared to Russia’s 27.9% and China’s 13.4%.

Almost half of respondents saw Russia (49.5%) and China (47.9%) playing “more important regional roles” than 10 years ago, while only 37.1% could say the same about the US. In another decade, Beijing (28.9%) would rival Washington (29%) as the “most influential” in the Middle East, they said.

Those polled said they would like their governments to “forge closer ties” with Beijing (43.2%) and Moscow (39.7%), while only 29.7% sought more cooperation with Washington. Almost two-thirds of participants believe Chinese economic investment has had a positive impact on their country, while 52.3% saw positives in economic cooperation with Russia. The US economic investment was seen as positive by 39.7%, while 29.8% reported negatives.

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