Harris welcomes Macron in Washington and considers France a ‘vital ally’
US Vice President Kamala Harris received French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday and stressed that “France is a key ally of the United States” at the start of a state visit that will settle differences and ease tensions over US trade protectionism.
In a warm tone and with a mutual smile, she welcomed the French President at the headquarters of the space agency “NASA” and praised the cooperation “on the basis of democratic principles and common values”.
For his part, Macron emphasized in English that these “common democratic values” must also apply in the area that he described as the “new conflict area” of the international community.
That’s why the French President called on Paris and Washington to work together to create “new rules” for space conquest and exploration.
Accompanying the French President were French astronauts Sophie Adino and Touma Pesquet – the latter a candidate for one of the rockets the US plans to send to the moon as part of the ambitious Artemis project.
The French president is set to spend three days in the country, the first president to receive a state visit since Biden took power.
Macron’s visit is rich right from the first day: after NASA, he will hold a meeting on the environment with members of Congress and another on civil nuclear energy with stakeholders in the sector.
The head of state will also address the French community after a traditional ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.
Finally, the French President, his wife Brigitte Jo and Jill Biden will meet for a private dinner away from official protocols that the White House will witness at Thursday’s reception, including cannon fire, a meeting in the Oval Office and a dinner party.
“The United States of America! A station to celebrate the friendship between our two countries. A station to move forward together at a challenging time,” Macron wrote in a tweet.
Like his Republican predecessor Donald Trump in 2018, the current Democratic president singled out his French counterpart to pick for the first state visit of his term.
John Kirby, spokesman for the National Security Council at the White House, said, “France is one of the threads by which our nation is woven,” and praised Emmanuel Macron’s “sense of leadership,” his “experience” and “wisdom,” especially since the French president has been in office much longer than the German Chancellor or the British Prime Minister, who recently took office.
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