Pakistan and 109 other countries have been invited to a virtual democracy summit by United States President Joe Biden. India has also been invited, while Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have been left out.
The conference is part of a campaign pledge made by President Joe Biden. During the election campaign, Biden had emphasised that his administration will support democracies against autocratic regimes.
The ‘Summit for Democracy’ will be held on December 9 and 10 virtually while the second edition of the meeting will be held in person next year.
The White House, in a statement about the meeting, said that it would, “galvanise commitments and initiatives across three principal themes: defending against authoritarianism, fighting corruption, and promoting respect for human rights”.
Traditional US allies from the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates, and Qatar have not been invited, and only Iraq and Israel will be attending from the region.
The two main adversaries of the US, Russia, and China, were both not invited, but Taiwan, which China claim is part of its territory, has been invited.
Turkey, a member of NATO was also not invited whereas Brazil which is currently run by the right-wing nationalist leader, Jair Bolsonaro, was invited.
Nigeria, Niger, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of Congo were invited from Africa.
“For this kick-off Summit… there’s a case for getting a broad set of actors into the room: it provides for a better exchange of ideas than setting a perfect bar for qualification,” Laleh Ispahani of the Open Society Foundations told AFP.