Biden invites a hundred countries to his virtual summit for democracy

US President Joe Biden invited nearly 110 countries to participate in his virtual summit for democracy in December, including the US’s main Western allies, as well as Iraq, India and Pakistan, according to the published list. this tuesday for him Department of State.

China America’s main rival, was not invited, unlike Taiwan, posing a 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 invited to this online meeting hosted by Biden for December 9-10. Traditional Arab allies of the United States, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar or the United Arab Emirates, are also not invited.

The US president cited Brazil led by far-right Jair Bolsonaro.

In Europe, Poland is represented, despite recurring tensions with Brussels over respect for the rule of law, although Hungary, led 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.

Along these lines, the ‘Summit for Democracy’ is one of his priorities, as well as one of his campaign promises.

“For a first summit (…) there are good reasons to have a wide range of actors present: this allows a better exchange of ideas,” he told 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 light of the many setbacks that democracy has suffered in recent months in countries where the United States had high hopes.

The United States was added to the list of “declining democracies” for the first time, mainly due to a degradation under the Trump era, according to a report by the Stockholm-based organization International IDEA.