Here’s some fascinating news. A Gallup Poll was conducted in Libya, asking citizens questions on a variety of issues. The results are surprising.
Well, surprising for those who aren’t very familiar for the region. I’m sure many Americans would be surprised to know that 54% of the Libyan population approve of the leadership performance of the United States. That’s 1% more than the Canadian approval rate for the States, and the highest approval rate ever seen in the MENA region.
The EU and Britain also seem to be in Libyans’ good books. But at 22% and 19% respectively, they don’t think very highly of China or Russia’s abilities.
I say surprising for others, because it’s well known here that Libyans are grateful for the help received during the revolution. Military and humanitarian aid are just some of the assistance given to us by Western nations. Another poll shows that 75% of the Libyan population supported NATO intervention, another obvious fact in the region.
However, 48% still believe that Western forces pose a threat to the country. We are an unstable nation with a lot of oil. Better safe than sorry, right? However, it’s al-Qaeda and Gadhafi supporters Libyans are more afraid of. There have been rumors of bearded men roaming around some cities, and as the majority of Libyans are peaceful moderates, these people are not viewed positively.
The majority of Libyans also favour Western support, especially when it comes to politics and the military. This could possibly lead to a stronger bond between the two.
But, what about the other countries in the region? NATO intervention in Libya was wildly unpopular in the Middle East, with 70% of Algerians and 62% of Palestinians against it, to name a few. Will a partnership between Libya and the United States lead to tension between the North African country and it’s neighbours?
So far, Libya has been almost impossible to predict. While the Muslim Brotherhood now rules in other neighbouring countries. Libyans opted for a liberal party, despite being more conservative. Their goodwill towards America is now another aspect that sets them apart. In time, I expect these facts will attest to the dramatic change happening in the MENA region.