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Biden’s Virtual Democracy Summit

US may have invited democratically weaker countries : FM

Published : Friday, 26 November, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 350
DU Correspondent

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said they (USA) may have invited the 'democratically weaker countries' to attend the virtual summit on democracy.
"I don't say that they have excluded us. Maybe they will tell us later," he added.
The Minister said this when waiting journalists questioned him why Bangladesh had not been invited to Biden's virtual summit on democracy after he came out of a seminar at Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Building of Dhaka University at noon on Thursday.
"We have a stable and transparent democracy for
many years. Here the people can cast their votes through free and fair elections. Whoever wants to contest in the election can easily get an opportunity to compete," he added.
Comparing and criticizing the election in Myanmar and Afghanistan, Abdul Momen said, "All the people can cast their votes in our country. In this regard, we have moved forward."
Meanwhile, UNB quotes the Foreign Minister as saying the US side said they will hold the Summit in two phases. In the first phase, some countries that are weak in democracy will join.
He said there is nothing to be worried as the people of Bangladesh will work for further strengthening democracy, if required.
 Dr Momen said the US itself faced problems in the recent past despite being an old democracy.
 Those who are weak in democracy were possibly called by the US. "I don't say they've dropped us."
 Since day one, the Biden-Harris Administration has made it clear that renewing democracy in the United States and around the world is essential to meet the unprecedented challenges of time.
 President Joe Biden stated on the International Day of Democracy, "No democracy is perfect, and no democracy is ever final. Every gain made, every barrier broken, is the result of determined, unceasing work."
 On December 9 and 10, President Biden will host the first of two Summits on Democracy, which will bring together leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector to set forth an affirmative agenda for democratic renewal and to tackle the greatest threats faced by democracies today through collective action.
 The virtual summit will focus on challenges and opportunities facing democracies and will provide a platform for leaders to announce both individual and collective commitments, reforms, and initiatives to defend democracy and human rights at home and abroad.
 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, according to White House.
 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."
 South Asian countries India, Pakistan and Nepal made to the list of invitees.
 Other South Asian countries dropped from the list of invitees are Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, according to the list published by the White House.
 A total of 110 countries will be joining the virtual summit.   
 Israel, considered a major non-NATO ally by the US, and Iraq are the only two countries invited from the Middle East. Meanwhile, traditional Arab allies of the US -- Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar and the UAE -- have not been invited.
 The list also includes Brazil even though its president, Jair Bolsonaro, has long been condemned for his far-right views and was a staunch supporter of the controversial former US President Donald Trump.

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