US President Joe Biden has invited about 110 countries, including Belgium, to participate in a virtual democracy summit. The US State Department made the announcement on Tuesday.
The summit, scheduled for December 9-10, will focus on three main axes: combating authoritarianism, tackling and combating corruption, and promoting respect for human rights. A second summit will be held in a year.
The US State Department says participating leaders will be encouraged “to announce specific actions and commitments.”
China, Turkey and Hungary no
China, the main competitor of the United States, was not invited. On the other hand, the breakaway province of Taiwan is doing so, which could lead to great anger from Beijing. Turkey, Washington’s NATO ally, is also not among the invited countries.
In the Middle East, only Israel and Iraq were invited to the virtual conference. The traditional Arab allies of the United States, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, are present.
Joe Biden also called on Brazil, even though the country is led by controversial far-right President Jair Bolsonaro. Poland was invited to visit Europe, despite recurring tensions with Brussels over respect for the rule of law. Hungary, led by Viktor Orban, did not receive an invitation.
On the African side, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, South Africa, Niger and Nigeria are among the invited countries.
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