Russia is generally unpopular across a broad selection of Middle Eastern countries, but still has an edge in its approval rating over the United States, according to researchers.
The U.S.-based Pew Research Center found in a newly released survey that while only about a third of respondents said they viewed Russia favorably — a median of 35 percent across five countries polled — just 27 percent saw the U.S. as a force for good.
Released Monday, the survey was conducted in spring 2017 across what Pew considered to be five key Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) publics: Jordan, Tunisia, Lebanon, Israel and Turkey.
"Overall, a number of influential powers in the Middle East are not seen in a favorable light. Roughly one-third or fewer view Russia (median of 35 percent) or the U.S. (median of 27 percent) positively," the report said.
However, even lower in the approval ratings than the U.S. is the Islamic Republic of Iran, the survey found: "Within the region, views of Iran are particularly poor (14 percent favorable), though Saudi Arabia fares better (44 percent)." Jordan and Israel held the lowest views on Iran, at 10 and 4 percent respectively, while Lebanon held the highest at 45 percent.
It should be noted that the research group did not survey the Middle East's two most populous states, Egypt and Iran. It also did not include the opinions of people in Iraq or Saudi Arabia, the fourth and fifth-most populous countries in the region. Pew surveyed 6,204 people in total.