US image vastly improving across Europe
While America's image has been dramatically boosted around the globe, strong reservations are still harboured by Muslims, who continue to view the United States in a largely unfavourable light
Washington -- The US image has vastly improved in much of the world thanks largely to the election of Barack Obama as president, although many Middle East nations remain wary of the United States, according to a recent survey.
While America's image has been dramatically boosted around the globe, strong reservations are still harboured by Muslims, who continue to view the United States in a largely unfavourable light, according to a study by researchers at the Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project.
"Animosity toward the US... continues to run deep and unabated in Turkey, the Palestinian territories and Pakistan," said the report, which conducted nearly 27,000 interviews from May 18 to June 16 among 24 nations and the Palestinian territories.
Some Muslim and Middle Eastern countries have a slightly improved view of the United States under Obama, whose father was Muslim and who has engaged in greater amounts of outreach to the Islamic world than his predecessors in the White House.
Pakistan and the Palestinian territories however registered only a marginally improved perception of the United States, while Egypt and Jordan posted a strong improvement in public attitudes towards America.
The Pew study found a strong improvement in the US image in Western Europe and Canada, where those surveyed expressed confidence that Obama will get the United States to take action on climate change.
Among European countries, Germany showed the most improved view of America, jumping from a 31 percent favourable rating in 2008 to 64 percent now.
Large improvements in America's favourability rating were also found in Spain, Britain and France.
Only about one Russian in three expressed confidence in the new US president -- a low number, but an improvement over Bush, who polled just 22 percent.
Israel stood out as the only country in the survey where Obama's public image has worsened, the Pew pollsters found.
In Asia, the biggest jump in US favourability numbers was found in Indonesia, where Obama spent part of his childhood, and which views him as something of a native son.
Even in countries where the United States remains unpopular, respondents expressed confidence in Obama to "do the right thing in world affairs."
And even among Muslim nations, the view of America was improving, if not always positive.
For the first time, for instance, confidence in the American president topped confidence in Osama bin Laden in most Muslim nations surveyed.
The survey was conducted in: Argentina, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, the Palestinian territories, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, Spain, South Korea, Turkey, and the United States.
In addition to examining the image of the United States around the world, the poll also surveyed attitudes toward the worldwide recession, globalization, China and other major powers, Islamic extremism, the environment and swine flu.