By Emil Danielyan
Most Armenians share a worldwide disapproval of the interventionist foreign policy pursued by the United States, according to a multinational opinion poll reported on Wednesday.
The poll was conducted from June 2006 to March 2006 in Armenia and 17 other countries -- including the U.S., China, and Russia -- that represent roughly 56 percent of the world’s population. Its findings were released by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a U.S. think-tank that helped organize the study aimed at gauging global public opinion on the issue.
Respondents in those countries were asked how much they trust the U.S. "to act responsibly in the world." Fifty-eight percent of those polled in Armenia answered “not at all” or “not very much.” The same answers were given by a majority of respondents in China, Russia, France and six other nations covered by the survey.
Pollsters also found that nearly two-thirds of Armenians believe the U.S. is more aggressive in acting as a global policeman than it should be. Large majorities elsewhere, including America itself, share this view, they said.
Christopher Whitney, executive director for studies at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying that the survey’s results testify to broad international frustration with U.S. foreign policy and the war in Iraq in particular. But he said people around the world realize at the same time that the U.S. has a key role to play in promoting and enforcing international security.
Armenians, for one thing, do not appear to be unhappy with their government’s growing defense and security ties with Washington. Sixty percent of them described U.S.-Armenian relations as “good” in a U.S.-funded opinion poll conducted last November.
However, only 17 percent listed the U.S. among Armenia’s most important partners, with almost twice as many respondents mentioning neighboring Iran, America’s regional arch-foe. The list was topped by Russia and France.