The result of a Gallup poll conducted in 13 countries in the Middle East confirmed that Saudi Arabia is more popular than Iran. Although the Turks and Palestinians have wavered in their opinions about Saudi Arabia, the kingdom is more popular than Iran in Turkey and Palestine. The “Arab Barometer” survey indicated that Iraqis prefer Saudi Arabia over any other country in the world, in addition to China. Half of the Tunisian people believe that Saudi Arabia, France, and Turkey are the best regimes in the world. Iraqis also see Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz as their best leader. An analysis published by the American magazine “Foreign Policy” (Thursday) stated that the poll did not specify a specific reason or reasons for this admiration for Saudi Arabia. However, the analysis concluded that the evidence indicates that the domestic and foreign policies pursued by Prince Mohammed bin Salman impress all the peoples of the Middle East. In particular, he referred to the ongoing social reforms in the Kingdom, which the analysis described as “real and important, which have positively affected the lives of Saudis.” And he quoted young people from Jordan as saying that they admire the life that the Saudis live, and are looking forward to job opportunities in Riyadh, Jeddah, and the future city of Neom, which is sponsored by Prince Muhammad bin Salman. Despite some Western stances hostile to the Saudi crown prince; “Foreign Policy” stated that the peoples of the Middle East see that Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s foreign policies have become a source of stability for the region. Saudi Arabia’s investments and aid to the countries of the region make the majority feel that Saudi Arabia can take the hand of their countries, to get them out of the crises they are experiencing. Jordanians polled said they preferred Saudi aid over American aid. They attributed this to the desire of the Arab peoples to distance themselves from the United States, and to the Arab leaders alone in shaping the features of the region, and not leaving that to the United States, China, and Russia. The author of the analysis stated that the positions of Prince Muhammad bin Salman, which reflect an independent approach from the positions of the major powers, especially his decision to send an air bridge of humanitarian aid to the Aleppo region in Syria, despite Washington’s dissatisfaction with the Saudi decision, strengthened the image of Riyadh in the minds of the Syrians, who expressed their Great appreciation for the positions of the Saudi Crown Prince. The poll showed great popularity for Saudi Arabia in Syria, following the kingdom’s decision to push for Syria’s return to the Arab ranks. Syrians in exile told “Foreign Policy” that despite their opposition to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, they believe that Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s decision in this regard is the only way to end the suffering of the Syrian people and to launch reconstruction operations for what was destroyed by the war in Syria. The poll indicated that the peoples of the region see Saudi Arabia as “an engine for the region’s prosperity and stability.” The author of the analysis said that this is also the image of the Kingdom in the imagination of Westerners. But he called on American officials and policy makers to seriously consider the reasons for the great popularity of Saudi policies in the Middle East. The Foreign Policy analysis concluded, “If Washington is to compete with Beijing and Moscow, fight extremists, prevent nuclear proliferation, and help the peoples of the Middle East fight climate change; US policymakers will have a greater chance of success if they see the world as it is. And in that world, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stands as a vital economic player and a geopolitical force that enjoys dynamism and popularity.
• Iraqis prefer Saudi Arabia over any country.. Tunisians consider it the best system of government
• The Syrians see the return of their country to the Arab ranks, with Saudi support, as the best opportunity to restore stability and rebuild Syria
• Jordanians prefer Saudi aid to Western aid and for Arab leaders to shape the features of their region