• Monday, May 27, 2024

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Pakistan skips US democracy summit to not upset close-ally China

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (Photo: ANI Photo)

By: Saumesh Thimbath

Pakistan has decided to give the Democracy Summit in Washington a skip owing to its close ties with China. The virtual summit, being co-sponsored by the US Department of State and USAID, begins on Tuesday.

China, along with Turkey, has not been invited to the summit.

Pakistan has opted instead to engage with the US bilaterally to strengthen democratic values, the Foreign Office said.

The virtual summit is being organised on the theme of “Global Declaration of Mayors for Democracy”.

Pakistan’s participation in the summit has been a subject of intense debate for some time now.

“The Summit process is now at an advanced stage and therefore, Pakistan would engage bilaterally with the US and co-hosts of the Summit to promote and strengthen democratic principles and values and work towards advancing human rights and the fight against corruption,” Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson told the media.

However, the Foreign Office thanked the US for inviting Pakistan to attend the Second Summit for Democracy.

“We value our friendship with the US. Under this Biden Administration, this relationship has widened and expanded substantially. We remain committed to further solidifying this relationship for peace, stability, and prosperity in the region,” the Foreign Office said.

The three-day event will showcase the role of cities and sub-national governments in the affirmation of democratic values and the renewal of democracy worldwide.

(PTI)

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