The president of the United States, Joe biden, invited almost 110 countries to participate in its virtual summit for democracy in December, including your nation’s main Western allies, as well as Iraq, India and Pakistan, according to the list published Tuesday by the State Department.
China was not invited, unlike Taiwan, at the risk of provoking the ire of Beijing. Turkey, an ally of Washington in NATO, also does not appear among the participating countries.
From the Middle East, only Israel and Iraq were summoned to this online meeting organized by Biden on December 9 and 10. Traditional Arab allies of the United States such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar or the United Arab Emirates are not invited.
With regard to Latin America, the US president invited Brazil, Argentina, chili, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua were excluded, three countries ruled by dictatorships, in addition to Bolivia and The Savior.
In Europe, Poland is represented, despite recurring tensions with Brussels over respect for the rule of lawAlthough Hungary, headed by controversial Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, is not on the State Department’s list.
As for Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria and Niger are among the guests.
Since arriving at the White House in January, Biden’s foreign policy has focused on the combat between democracies and “autocracies”, from their perspective embodied by China and Russia.
In that line, the “Summit for Democracy” is one of its priorities, in addition to one of his campaign promises.
“For a first summit (…) there are good reasons to have a wide range of actors in mind: this allows a better exchange of ideas”he told the news agency AFP Laleh Ispahani of the Open Society Foundations, prior to the publication of the list.
According to Ispahani, rather than holding an anti-China meeting, a country that he calls a “lost opportunity”, Biden should take advantage of these meetings that will also bring together civil society leaders to “attack the crisis that represents the serious decline of democracy around the world, even for relatively solid models like the United States ”.
This summit was organized in view of the numerous setbacks that democracy has suffered in recent months in countries where the United States had high hopes.
Among them Sudan and Burma, scenes of military coups; Ethiopia, trapped in conflict at risk of “imploding”, according to Washington; as well as Afghanistan, where the Taliban seized power after the United States left the country after 20 years of democratization efforts.
The full list of invited countries
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Democratic Republic of Congo
Papua New Guinea
Saint Kitts and Nevis
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Sao Tome and Principe
Trinidad and Tobago