Majority want US to be less involved in Middle East, Arab Youth Survey finds – Middle East Monitor

Turkiye and China are stronger allies of the Arab world than the US and Russia, say 82 per cent of participants in the 15th annual Arab Youth Survey.

The US exerts the most influence in the Arab world, say 33 per cent of the people asked, but two thirds say they would like the US to be less involved in Middle Eastern affairs.

The survey, run by ASDA’A BCW, the region’s largest communications consultancy, is made up of face-to-face interviews with 3,600 Arab citizens between the ages of 18 and 24.

There are over 200 million youth in the Arab world, its largest demographic.

For the twelfth year in a row, Arab youth (24 per cent) say the UAE is the country they would most like to live in due to “its safe and secure environment, growing economy, effective leadership, clean environment and ease of starting a business.”

This was followed by the US and Canada at 19 per cent, Qatar at 14 per cent and the UK at 13 per cent.

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Twenty-two per cent described the UAE as the country they want their own to emulate, whilst 11 per cent named Saudi Arabia and the UK as their preferences.

“This reflects the hugely positive impact of the FIFA World Cup 2022 last November and December; without question, the tournament had a galvanising effect on both the regional economy and Arab pride,” says Sunil John, president of MENA at BCW and Founder of ASDA’A BCW.

Around two-thirds of respondents said that relations between Iran and Israel and the West will deteriorate into military conflict. The Iranian regime will become even more authoritarian in the future, experience more civil unrest and even a coup, many fear.

Some 55 per cent of respondents believe that the Israel-Palestine conflict will not be solved in the next five years.

“Overall, the Arab world has witnessed a reduction in armed conflict in recent years, with the situation in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen calmer than it was before,” says Sunil.

“The exceptions of course are Sudan, where civil unrest has flared recently, and the Palestinian Territories, where relations between Palestinians and Israelis remain deadlocked, a state of affairs exacerbated by the involvement of Iran.”

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