US President Joe Biden has invited 110 countries to a virtual summit on democracy on December 9 and 10. According to a list posted on the State Department’s website, the invitation has not been extended to China, Turkey and Russia. Notably, Turkey is a member of NATO.
This list, however, figures Taiwan — a decision likely to irk China amid the worsening ties between the two permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.
Other major countries that have been invited to the summit are major allies of the US. From the South Asian region, India and Pakistan have been invited to the summit. Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan have not been invited.
Among the countries of the Middle East, only Israel and Iraq have been to the President’s conference. Traditional Arab allies of the US — Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, are not invited.
The theme of the summit is to galvanize commitments and initiatives across three principal themes: defending against authoritarianism, fighting corruption, and promoting respect for human rights.