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At democracy summit, Biden says world faces battle against autocracy

But Pakistan pulls out, saying it wishes to engage at 'opportune time' in future

U.S. President Joe Biden convenes a virtual summit with leaders at the Summit for Democracy from the White House on Dec. 9.   © Reuters

NEW YORK -- Democracies need champions, said U.S. President Joe Biden as he opened up the first ever Summit for Democracy on Thursday, bringing together political leaders and civil society actors from over 100 countries.

The gathering is "not to assert that any one of our democracies is perfect or has all the answers, but to lock arms and reaffirm our shared commitment to make our democracies better," and to push back on authoritarianism, Biden said.

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