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India among 110 countries invited to Joe Biden’s virtual democracy summit; more about the meet

Mini

Biden’s guest list also includes Pakistan and Brazil, while traditional US allies like UAE and Saudi Arabia have been left out. Biden's message to China is clear as Taiwan too is invited.

India among 110 countries invited to Joe Biden’s virtual democracy summit; more about the meet
The US State Department has invited 110 countries to the upcoming summit on democracy hosted by US President Joe Biden. The virtual summit will take place on December 9 and 10. The summit is going to be important for the US as it tries to hold on to its position as one of the most influential democratic powers in the world.
“For the United States, the summit will offer an opportunity to listen, learn, and engage with a diverse range of actors whose support and commitment is critical for global democratic renewal. It will also showcase one of democracy’s unique strengths: The ability to acknowledge its imperfections and confront them openly and transparently, so that we may, as the United States Constitution puts it, ‘form a more perfect union’,” the State Department said.
What is the democracy summit?
The democracy summit aims to bring together leaders from leading democracies of the world, along with countries that the US hopes to induce more towards a ‘democratic’ leaning. The aim of the summit, as stated by President Biden during his election campaign, is to demonstrate that democracies are still up to the challenges that nations face in the 21st century.
One of the major goals of the summit is to stop increasing authoritarian action from Russia and China and position the US as a key global democratic leader. The other two principal themes of the summit are going to be fighting corruption and promoting respect for human rights.
Along with leaders of the 110 countries, philanthropists, individuals from civil society and the private sector will also be invited to the summit. After the two-day virtual summit, the invitees will engage in consultation, coordination, and action for a year before they are invited to a second democracy summit. The second summit will be held in person.
Which nations have been invited?
The list of invitees includes India, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Nigeria and Niger, among others. Traditional US allies from the Middle East like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have not been invited. Only Israel and Iraq will be invited from the region.
NATO ally Turkey has also been excluded from the list while Brazil, under far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, will be there. A controversial addition to the list has been Taiwan.
What will the summit mean for India?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend the summit. Known as the ‘world’s largest democracy,’ India has in recent years shrugged off international questions on the quality of its democracy. India calls matters of democratic rights and human rights its “internal matters” and has sharply responded to any criticism, perceived or real, from foreign nations on matters like Jammu Kashmir, protests over the soon-to-be repealed farm bills, minority rights, rising religious intolerance and the Citizenship Amendment Act.
At the same time, the Indian government has been quick to promote the democratic process and call attention to minority rights in countries like Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka.
Whether India will adopt calls for internal reform to improve the quality of its democracy or it will continue to label such subjects as its “internal matter” may come under consideration at the summit.
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