French president visits NASA, meets US vice president in 1st state visit

Macron and Harris discussed the American-Franco partnership in outer space which has been ongoing for over six decades, a White House Official said.

“It will be an opportunity to review existing cooperation in space science, space exploration, and using data collected from space to fight climate change,” the official said. “It will also build upon new areas of cooperation established after the Vice President and President Macron met in Paris last year.”

Macron said ahead of the meeting that the US and France did “a lot together in the past decades” and have “a lot of projects.”

Recalling Harris’s visit to Paris last year, Macron said they decided to “strengthen this cooperation and larger strategic dialogue of space” after a long discussion.

“Space is the new place of conflict. And, we have crazy players in this space as well. And we have rogue states. And we have new hybrid attacks,” he said.

“We do have the same commitment and attachment to science and progress that we do share as well as democratic values and I think building these new rules and setting them together is for us very important,” he added.

The US vice president, for her part, stressed that “France is a vital ally for the US,” while also adding that there’s “so much potential” in terms of the work that the two nations can do.

“And in particular, when we work together, based on shared principles, and values, to seize these opportunities,” she added.

First state visit to US under Biden administration

Macron and his wife, Brigitte, arrived in Washington on Tuesday evening in the first state visit of Joe Biden’s presidency.

Besides meeting with Harris, the French president on Wednesday will visit Arlington National Cemetery, and honor two World War II veterans from Frederick County.

President Joe Biden will host Macron at the White House on Thursday for the first state dinner after a lengthy hiatus due to COVID-19 pandemic.

US-French relations had a tense start under the Biden administration following the US decision to strike a submarine deal with Australia that left a previous French contract on the cutting room floor.

The move prompted Paris to recall its ambassadors from Washington and Canberra in a major diplomatic row between allies.

Following the Russian war in Ukraine, Paris and Washington set aside the tensions.

Trade and energy issues will be high on the agenda of Macron’s three-day state visit in Washington, as well as other issues, such as the Russia-Ukraine war and China.

Source: Anadolu Agency