Besties and frenemies: who ranks where on Egypt's friendly list?

Besties and frenemies: who ranks where on Egypt's friendly list?
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Published September 30th, 2015 - 17:41 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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The highest ranking non-Arab state was China. (File photo)
The highest ranking non-Arab state was China. (File photo)
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A poll conducted by an Egyptian research centre showed that Egyptians perceive Saudi Arabia to be the most friendly country, while Israel was found to be the most hostile. 

The poll was conducted by the Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research (Baseera) which released its results on Tuesday.

Respondents were asked to rate 26 countries on a scale, where 100 indicates friendliness and -100 suggests hostility. 

All top eight most friendly countries were Arab states. Saudi Arabia, which is among the strongest backers of the Egyptian government and has repeatedly provided financial support to Egypt's struggling economy, scored 88.

Saudi Arabia was most favourable among respondents over the age of 50 and who have not completed post-secondary education. 

The monarchy was quick to show support to Egypt after the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood politician and former president Mohamed Mursi in 2013. 

Saudi was followed by several Gulf states, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Bahrain. The oil-rich Emirates and Kuwait have also financially backed Egypt's current regime. Along with Saudi Arabia, they have provided billions of dollars in aid, in the form of loans, petroleum products and deposits in the central bank.

North African neighbours Sudan, Tunisia and Morocco were also in the top eight. The highest ranking non-Arab state was China, followed by Russia in 10th place. 

Meanwhile, six of the 26 countries on the list were found to be hostile, scoring negative points. Israel scored lowest with -88 points. Although Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace agreement with the Jewish state, tensions between the two countries still exist. 

With a small difference between them, the U.S. and Iran came in as second and third most hostile, with -36 and -37 points, respectively. They were followed by Qatar and Turkey, which are regularly painted in a negative light in the Egyptian media and are accused of sympathising with the Muslim Brotherhood. 

The poll was administered in May to around 1,550 citizens from all governorates, using mobile phones and landlines, Baseera said. The response rate was 48 percent and the margin of error is 3 percent. 

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