Poll: Gaza pullout will help peace process
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(CNN) -- More than twice as many adults in Britain, France and Germany believe the Gaza disengagement plan will help the Middle East peace process rather than hinder it, according to the findings of a new CNN/TIME poll conducted by TNS, and published Monday.
Thirty-one percent across all three countries agreed it would help the peace process, compared with just 15 percent who felt it would hinder it.
At the same time, the research -- done between August 4 and 10 -- reveals that the policies of Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon are viewed by 35 percent of respondents across the three countries as having neither made the conflict in the Middle East worse nor helped bring peace.
In addition, 20 percent were was convinced that Sharon had made the conflict worse and just 16 percent believed that he had helped bring peace to the region.
More than a quarter of respondents overall were unable to offer any view at all on either the impact of 'disengagement' or the policies of Ariel Sharon in the Middle East peace process.
Respondents in Britain (33 percent) and Germany (32 percent) were marginally more in favor of the disengagement plan than those in France (29 percent). At the same time, Britons were more evenly split in their responses, with 20 percent thinking the plan would hinder the peace process, and 27 percent who thought it would neither hinder nor help the process. People in Germany were most convinced that the plan would make no difference either way (37 percent).
Respondents in France emerged as giving the highest levels of "don't knows" in their responses. Forty-six percent answered "don't know" when asked for their views on the disengagement plan and 40 percent offered "don't know" when asked about the success of Sharon's policies.
However, among those respondents in France who did express a view, a higher proportion (more than half of the total recording an opinion) said they felt that the disengagement plan would help the Middle East peace process than among those in either Britain or Germany.
When asked for their views on the effectiveness of Sharon's policies on the Middle East peace process, respondents in Germany (44 percent) were least convinced that these policies had made any impact compared with 34 percent of Britons and just 21 percent of people in France.
In France, respondents were most evenly split in their answers with 18 percent saying Sharon's policies have helped bring peace, compared with 21 percent who believe they have made the conflict worse and 21 percent who think that the policies have neither made it worse nor helped bring peace.
"The inconclusive nature of the findings reflect the complexity of the situation," said a poll spokesperson.
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