Over two-thirds (92 per cent) of young Saudis see the United States as an ally of their nation, with 59 per cent stating the US is a ‘strong ally’ and 33 per cent citing it as ‘somewhat of an ally', according to a survey.
The 13th edition of the annual ASDA’A BCW Arab Youth Survey was announced ahead of the historic visit of US President Joe Biden to Saudi Arabia on July 15 and 16, 2022.
The percentage of Saudi youth who see the US as an ally of the Kingdom has increased from 2020, when it was 87 per cent, and from 2019 when it was 70 per cent. In 2018, the percentage of youth who viewed the US as an ally was only 50 per cent.
Biden's consecutive visits in Israel and Saudi Arabia is of significance, since 75 per cent of the youth believe that the top priority for the Arab world should be addressing the ‘Palestinian-Israeli conflict’.
The US President enjoys a largely positive perception among Saudi youth; however, 93 per cent think that his administration “should have a played a more active and unbiased role in resolving the conflict.” A majority of young Saudis (73 per cent) are confident that the conflict is ‘very likely’ to ‘somewhat likely’ to be resolved in the next five years.
Sunil John, President, MENA, BCW and Founder of ASDA’A BCW, said, “The findings from our survey reflect the optimism surrounding Biden’s first visit to the Kingdom as the US President. The generally warm feelings young people have towards US, and their eagerness for peace across the region, especially in resolving the Palestinian conflict, show the value to be had from a reset of US-Saudi relations to achieve a more stable and stronger Middle East geopolitical order.”
Over one-third (36 per cent) of young Saudis believe the US has the most influence in the Arab world among non-Arab nations, while significantly more (43 per cent) say the Kingdom is the most influential among Arab nations in the region.
The percentage of the youth of Saudi Arabia who are confident that their country’s relations with the US will improve under President Biden is 63 per cent, compared with the 37 per cent that believe relations will remain the same.
With a heartening show of optimism, almost all young Saudis (97 per cent) feel that their country is going in the right direction; 82 per cent agreed with the statement that ‘our best days are ahead of us.’
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