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Survey: What Indians think about Obama
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January 20, 2009 16:17 IST
As Barack Obama [Images] prepares to be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States, a new 17-nation poll has revealed that as many as 63 per cent of Indians see America's relationship with the rest of the world improving under his presidency.

The poll also shows people around the world are hoping Obama will give the highest priority to the global financial crisis.

According to the poll, Indians believe that the US should put emphasis on dealing with the global financial crisis (47 per cent top priority, 21 per cent important) and improving America's relationship with their country (42 per cent top priority, 22 per cent important).

On other issues where the US could take action, Indians say attention should go to brokering peace between Israel and the Palestinians (28 per cent top priority, 27 percent important), and withdrawing US troops from Iraq (27 per cent top priority, 28 per cent important), and supporting the government of Afghanistan against the Taliban [Images] (26 per cent top priority, 32 per cent important).

Overall in 15 of the 17 countries polled, majorities think that the election of Barack Obama will lead to improved ties with the rest of the world. On an average, 67 per cent express this upbeat view, while 19 per cent think it will stay the same and just five percent believe that the relations will worsen.

Asked to rate six possible priorities for the Obama administration, the top priority in all 17 countries polled was the global financial crisis. 72 per cent said that it should be a top priority.

This was followed by withdrawing US troops from Iraq -- with 50 per cent saying this should be a top priority -- then addressing climate change (46 per cent), improving America's relationship with the respondent's country (46 per cent), brokering peace between Israel and the Palestinians (43 per cent), and supporting Afghanistan government (29 per cent).

As many as 17,356 adult citizens across 17 countries were interviewed in this survey conducted for the BBC World service by the international polling firm GlobeScan together with the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland.

The polls were conducted between November 24, 2008 and January 5, 2009.

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