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US President Joe Biden Excludes Zimbabwe From Historic Democracy Summit

US President Joe Biden has invited 100 heads of state from across the world to a virtual two-day roundtable in December. The majority of SADC countries, except Zimbabwe, are anticipated to attend the Democracy Summit. Tanzania and Eswatini will also be absent. Eswatini is beset by political issues, and Tanzania has also been excluded.

While the US Foreign Affairs public diplomacy section declined to comment on how each country was chosen, it did say the summit would be an opportunity "for world leaders to listen to one another and their citizens, share successes, drive international collaboration, and speak honestly about the challenges facing democracy to collectively strengthen the foundation for democratic renewal." The conference will be followed by another in the District of Columbia next year, where Biden will invite 100 foreign leaders."The Virtual Summit for Democracy, which will take place on December 9 and 10, will bring together leaders from a varied range of the world's democracies. A second in-person conference will take hold in about a year "According to a statement issued by the department.

However, it is a diplomatic setback for Zimbabwe, since President Emmerson Mnangagwa stated to his supporters upon his return from the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow that he spoke with Biden, who pledged to look into sanctions placed on Zimbabwe. Dr. William Mpofu, a research fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand, said Zimbabwe was failing to preserve basic values such as human rights, freedom of expression, democracy, and the rule of law."Looking at Zimbabwe's diplomatic performance, all attempts to re-engage and even join the Commonwealth have been 'Idi Amin' in character. As a statesman, [Mnangagwa] should be able to do better than lie to the people "He continued.

According to the worldwide human rights and democracy think tank Freedom House, Zimbabwe's status has worsened from partially free to not free in the last two years as a result of the authorities' increased persecution of opposition figures and civic activists. Despite deteriorating relations, the United States remains the single largest donor to Zimbabwe. It has invested at least US$3.5 billion in efforts like food security, economic resilience, and health outcomes since its independence in 1980.

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Source : news24

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