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International relations

Biden's democracy summit creates division from outset, critics say

Pakistan invited to join, but Sri Lanka, Turkey and Singapore left out

U.S. President Joe Biden holds virtual talks with Russia's President Vladimir Putin on Dec. 7. A central aim of the Summit for Democracy is to counter the rising influence of authoritarian regimes like Russia's.    © Reuters

NEW YORK -- U.S. President Joe Biden will host a virtual democracy summit this week, bringing together leaders from more than 100 countries to set an agenda and commit to actions fighting authoritarianism, corruption and promoting human rights.

But the invitee list for the "Summit for Democracy" has raised questions from the day it was released. It includes countries like Pakistan -- a longtime thorn in America's side and a government condemned for its human rights abuses -- but not Sri Lanka, which ranks higher on Washington-based think tank Freedom House's democracy index.

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