President Joe Biden has invited nearly 110 countries to a virtual summit on democracy in December, including major Western allies, but also Iraq, India and Pakistan, according to a list posted on the State Department website on Tuesday.
China, the United States’ major rival, is not invited, while Taiwan is – a move that risks angering Beijing. Turkey, which is a member of NATO like the US, is also missing from the list of participants.
In the countries of the Middle East, only Israel and Iraq will be in the online conference on December 9-10.
America’s traditional Arab allies – Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates – are not invited.
Biden invited Brazil, even though its far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, was criticized for having an authoritarian leaning and a staunch supporter of Donald Trump.
In Europe, Poland was invited to the summit despite continuing tensions with the European Union over its human rights record. Hungary, led by the radical nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban, was not invited.
In Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa, Nigeria and Niger are among the countries on the list.
Announcing the summit in August, the White House said the meeting would “promote commitments and initiatives on three key themes: defending against authoritarianism, fighting corruption and promoting respect for human rights.”
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