Obama to Address Arab Spring in Middle East Speech


Despite the push toward democracy, the image of the United States in the Muslim world remains negative. In countries like Jordan, Turkey and Pakistan, views are even more negative than they were one year ago, according to a report released this week by the Pew Global Attitudes Project. Those surveyed said they felt the United States disregarded the interests of other countries and acted mostly unilaterally in world affairs.

The survey found that except Indonesia, Obama remains unpopular in Muslim nations and most disapprove of the way he has handled calls for political change roiling the Middle East.

At the same time, sympathy toward Islamic fundamentalists remains strong in some parts. In Pakistan, nearly half of those polled said they they sympathize more with Islamic fundamentalists than those who disagree with them. In the Palestinian territories, that number dropped to 37 percent, with Jordan and Egypt trailing closely behind.

The Israel-Palestine issue remains one of the biggest points of contention. Though that is not expected to be the main part of his speech today, the president will likely mention the issue.

Obama met with Jordan's King Abdullah this week and is scheduled to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu -- who this week made clear that he won't negotiate with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas, despite the U.S. push.

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