Tripoli, 14 August:
Libyan goodwill towards the Western world has reached unprecedented highs in the wake of NATO’s support for last year’s . . .[restrict]revolution, according to a new Gallup opinion poll.
Fully 75 per cent of Libyans supported the NATO intervention, dwarfing levels of support elsewhere in the region., with only 33 per cent of Tunisians supporting the intervention and just 13 per cent of Egyptians.
Both Tunisia and Egypt succeeding in ousting their respective leaders last year without international military assistance.
Libyan support for NATO also appears to translate into support for Western influence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) generally. 54 per cent of Libyans support United States leadership in the MENA, the highest approval Gallup has ever recorded in the region, outside of Israel.
50 per cent of Libyans support leadership by the United Kingdom, which also backed the intervention, whilst 52 per cent support leadership by the European Union.
Leadership aside, Libyans are still more enthusiastic about Western support in their country, with 77 per cent favouring Western provision of governance experts and equipment for the Libyan military. 68 per cent would like to see Western military trainers in their country, and 61 per cent favour Western economic assistance.
Meanwhile, the reputations of Russia and China appear to have suffered significant damage on account of their failure to back the revolution in Libya and their outright opposition to the revolution in Syria. 22 per cent support Chinese leadership in the region, whilst just 19 per cent would say the same of Russia.
In a further indication of Libya’s rejection of extremist ideology, 62 per cent of Libyans view Al-Qaeda or other Islamic militant groups as a major threat, with just 17 per cent perceiving them as no threat at all. 14 per cent say they are a minor threat.
Members of Qaddafi’s former regime are almost as feared, with 61 per cent saying they pose a major threat, 19 per cent saying they pose a minor threat and 14 per cent saying they pose no threat at all.
However, the role of Western militaries is still viewed with suspicion, with 48 per cent believing they pose a major threat, although 29 per cent say they pose no threat at all.
In a sign of the reduced presence of militia on the streets, only 29 per cent of Libyans say they pose a major threat to the country, whilst 34 per cent believe they pose no threat at all.
The survey, which was carried out by Gallup in March and April of this year, interviewed approximately 1,000 adults per country, aged 15 and over, in Libya, Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia.