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Obama's global popularity slides, new survey finds

Global attitudes towards the United States and President Obama have slumped, the latest Pew Research survey finds.

Obama global popularity wanes pew survey june 13 2012Enlarge
US President Barack Obama's global popularity has slumped in the three years since he took office said the latest Pew Research Center Global Attitudes Project on June 13, 2012, but he still garners high approval ratings in Europe and Japan. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

A month-long survey of 21 nations released on Wednesday found that approval for President Barack Obama had sharply declined since he took office in 2009, according to the Pew Research Center.

The survey also found that the countries, including some key US allies in Europe, saw America's economic clout as waning, according to Agence France Presse.

Despite the disappointment, however, Europeans still strongly supported Obama's re-election, with 92 percent of French respondents, 90 percent of German respondents and 73 percent of British respondents hoping for a second term for Obama, said AFP.

Richard Wike, the associate director of Pew's Global Attitudes Project, told AFP, "America's image is more positive than it was before (Obama) came in office, in Europe, in Brazil, in Japan, in some parts of the world."

According to the Guardian, confidence over Obama's foreign policy has taken a hit, especially over drone attacks in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen.

"Hopes that Washington would prove more internationalist, seek UN approval for military action and be more even-handed in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have been dashed," said the Guardian.

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Majorities in the UK, Germany and France said that China was now the world's top economic power. China itself has witnessed a sharp drop in confidence in Obama, from 62 percent in 2009 to just 38 percent this year, said the Guardian.

The poll included participants from Europe, the Middle East, and some countries in Asia and the Americas, including China, Japan, Mexico and Brazil, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Three years ago, 45 percent of those polled believed Obama would take their country's interests into account on foreign policy matters, but only 27 percent now believe that Obama has done so. Similarly, 45 percent that Obama would seek international approval to use military force, but only 29 percent now say he has done so, according to The LA Times.

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In contrast to America, where 62 percent of respondents approve of the US' use of drone strikes, more than half the respondents in a majority of the countries disapproved of the strikes.

Respondents were also disappointed that Obama did not focus on international issues such as climate change or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, reported The Christian Science Monitor.

In Muslim countries, Obama's approval rating has gone from roughly 33 percent in 2009 to 15 percent now. In Pakistan it has sunk to 7 percent, said The Monitor.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120613/obamas-global-popularity-slides-says-new-survey