Vice President Kamala Harris is joining the White House’s charm effort targeted at French President Emmanuel Macron, according to the White House.
The vice president will arrive in Paris on Tuesday for a four-day visit, marking the next step in the Biden administration’s persistent drive to strengthen the United States’ relationship with the country that is America’s oldest friend. This year, ties between Washington and Paris reached an all-time low as a result of a U.S.-British submarine pact with Australia that destroyed a French contract with the Australians.
Vice President Kamala Harris and French President Emmanuel Macron will meet on Wednesday at the Élysée Palace for discussions that are anticipated to centre on how the two countries can better coordinate efforts in the Indo-Pacific region and other problems affecting the relationship.
More than two weeks have passed since President Joe Biden met with Macron on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Rome, during which he confessed that his administration had handled the submarine sale in a “clumsy” manner.
The agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom to provide Australia with submarine technology has been framed as an opportunity for the United States to strengthen the naval capacity of a key Pacific ally at a time when the Biden administration has grown concerned about China’s military aggressiveness in the region.
France, on the other hand, was furious, claiming that it had been kept in the dark about the agreement and that its interests had been overlooked despite the fact that it had territory in the Indo-Pacific with a population of 2 million people and 7,000 soldiers.
French officials even momentarily withdrew their ambassador from the United States in protest, marking the first time this had happened in the almost 250-year history of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
“The partnership between the United States and France is one of the oldest and most powerful in the world,” Harris said in a statement after her visit to France.
Moreover, Harris said that she and Macron will explore new potential for cooperation in the field of space exploration. Harris will have a tour of the world-renowned Institut Pasteur on Tuesday. Her mother, a scientist, worked with the institute’s experts on breast cancer research in the 1980s, while Harris was still a child.
Harris will make a speech on Thursday at the annual Paris Peace Forum, and he will also participate in the Paris Conference on Libya the following day, on Friday. The visit will be made possible thanks to the generosity of her husband, Douglas Emhoff.
As Biden left off in Rome, the vice president is attempting to make it clear that he believes the United States’ relationship with France is important to the country’s national security.
In order to do this, she and Emhoff will go to Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial, which is located just outside of Paris. The cemetery, which is 7.5 acres in size, holds the remains of 1,559 Americans who died during World War I, as well as the remains of 23 unidentified World War II dead.
A ceremony to commemorate Armistice Day, the French holiday that marks the conclusion of World War I, will also be included on Harris’s itinerary. Veterans Day is celebrated on Thursday in the United States.