The United States' image in four Middle Eastern nations and the Palestinian territories largely doesn't appear to have improved during anti-government uprisings that have shaken regimes in the region, a survey from the Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project found.
Fewer people in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon view the United States favorably now than in 2010, while small gains were seen in Egypt - where an uprising toppled longtime leader Hosni Mubarak earlier this year - and the Palestinian territories, according to the survey.
Pew said America's image also dipped in the two other predominantly Muslim nations that were surveyed: Pakistan and Indonesia.
The results of the survey, which was taken between March 21 and April 26, come as U.S. President Barack Obama prepares to deliver on Thursday a highly anticipated address on U.S. policy toward the "Arab Spring" uprisings that have shaken autocratic regimes across North Africa and the Middle East.
It also comes as Obama is urging Israel and the Palestinians to restart negotiations on a two-state solution to their decades-long conflict.
"Many of the concerns that have driven animosity toward the U.S. in recent years are still present - a perception that the U.S. acts unilaterally, opposition to the war on terror, and fears of America as a military threat," a Pew report on the survey said.
Thirteen percent of those surveyed in Jordan had a favorable view of the United States, down from 21% last year. U.S. favorability in Turkey (10%, down from 17%), Pakistan (11%, down from 17%), Indonesia (54%, down from 59%) and Lebanon (49%, down from 52%) also saw dips.
U.S. favorability rose in Egypt (20%, up from 17%) and the Palestinian territories (18%, up from 15% in 2009, the last time a survey was done there).
The percentage of people expressing at least some confidence in Obama was up slightly in Egypt, Pakistan and Turkey, but of the nations surveyed, only Indonesia (62%) - where Obama spent some time as a child - had a majority doing so, Pew said.
And majorities in each surveyed nation, expect for Indonesia and Pakistan, said they disapproved how Obama handled calling for political change in the Middle East.
Other findings, according to Pew:
- Most of those surveyed said democracy was preferable to any other kind of government (including more than 70% in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt). The only nation where a majority didn't agree was in Pakistan, where 46% said democracy was preferable.
- Majorities in each surveyed country and territory – except for Egypt, where the questions weren't asked - said economic prosperity, political stability, religious freedom, free elections, free speech and gender equality are very important in a democracy.
- Majorities in Pakistan, Jordan and Egypt believe laws should be based strictly on the teachings of the Quran. This was a minority view in Turkey, Lebanon, Indonesia and the Palestinian territories.