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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 November 2006, 19:39 GMT
Denmark 'Egypt's foe', says poll
Danish flag is burned in Pakistan, February 2006
There were violent protests around the Muslim world in February
Denmark is one of Egypt's worst enemies, second only after Israel, an Egyptian government poll has indicated.

The pollsters asked a random selection of 1,000 Egyptian adults their attitudes to different countries.

Israel was considered most hostile to Egypt, followed by Denmark, Britain and the United States - in that order.

Cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad sparked protests around the Muslim world earlier this year after they were first published in a Danish newspaper.

Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Sudan and Syria were considered most friendly to Egypt.

Cartoon controversy

The poll confirms Egyptian public opinion as far as Israel and the United States are concerned, says the BBC's Arab Affairs analyst Magdi Abdelhadi.

What is surprising, he says, is the attitude towards Denmark, a country which most Egyptians know very little about.

Hostile to Egypt:
Israel - 92% agree
Denmark - 60% agree
Friendly to Egypt:
Saudi Arabia - 92% agree

The publication a year ago of newspaper cartoons - one depicting Muhammad with a bomb in his turban - led to violent protests in which more than 50 people died in Muslim countries.

Several Danish diplomatic missions were attacked and many Muslims boycotted Danish goods.

Our analyst says the incident is still frequently discussed by Egyptian and Arab media.

The attitudes towards Denmark indicated by the poll were consistent through the sample of Egyptian respondents regardless of age, education or living standard.

Another surprise, says our analyst, is that Britain was viewed as more hostile to Egypt than the US.

The timing of the poll may have been a factor: it was conducted shortly after the fighting between Israeli and Hezbollah in July and August when Britain did not endorse calls for an immediate ceasefire.

The Egyptian cabinet's Information and Decision Support Centre conducted the survey by telephone between 31 August and 3 September.

Danes issue travel warning list
06 Feb 06 |  Europe
Q&A: The Muhammad cartoons row
07 Feb 06 |  Special Reports

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