French President Emmanuel Macron is set to host U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris for talks Wednesday at Elysee Palace with an agenda that includes climate change, the economy, global health and supply chain issues.
A senior U.S. administration official told reporters Tuesday that the bilateral meeting is important because the U.S. relationship with France is a global one, and that France and other European allies are key to the future of the United States.
In addition to meeting with Macron, Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, are taking part in a wreath laying Wednesday at Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial outside of Paris to mark the U.S. Veterans Day holiday and Armistice Day, which commemorates the end of World War I. The site honors American service members killed in both world wars and holds the remains of nearly 1,600 Americans.
Harris and Macron will take part in a further Armistice Day ceremony as it is observed on Thursday.
The U.S. vice president’s trip to France is the latest step in a push to improve soured relations with the country’s oldest ally.
Relations between the two countries plunged to a historic low in September when Australia scrapped a $65 billion deal to buy traditional submarines from France in favor of an agreement in which Australia will build nuclear subs with the help of the United States and Britain.
U.S. President Joe Biden told Macron in Rome last month the United States had been “clumsy” in its handling of the matter.
Harris will also represent the Biden administration Thursday at the Paris Peace Forum and at a summit Friday on Libya ahead of that country’s elections next month.
Some information for this report came from the Associated Press, the Agence France-Presse and Reuters.