Harris, Macron unveil new initiatives on space, cybersecurity after meeting
Vice President Harris on Wednesday announced new initiatives with France on space and cybersecurity following a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.
The White House said that Harris and Macron agreed to launch a “comprehensive” bilateral dialogue on space through which U.S. and French officials will work together to address issues like climate change, expand space exploration, and expand access to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.
“Noting the 60 years of U.S.-France partnership in space and the growing importance of space in providing benefits to people around the world, Vice President Harris and President Macron agreed to establish a U.S.-France Comprehensive Dialogue on Space to enhance civil, commercial, and national security space cooperation,” the vice president’s senior adviser and chief spokesperson Symone Sanders said in a statement.
Harris, who chairs the National Space Council, also announced that the U.S. would join the Space Climate Observatory, an international initiative of space agencies and organizations that focuses on the impact of climate change. France’s National Centre for Space Studies is also part of the initiative.
Additionally, Harris announced that the U.S. would support the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace, an initiative that Macron announced in 2018 to bring governments and the private sector together to advance cybersecurity based on nine principles.
As part of a five-day trip to France, Harris held a bilateral meeting with Macron on Wednesday, during which the two discussed the coronavirus pandemic, space cooperation and other issues. The visit lasted just under two hours.
The White House is seeking to repair relations with its oldest ally after the U.S. angered France with a deal to sell Australia nuclear-powered submarines earlier this year. President Biden met with Macron in Rome two weeks ago as part of that effort.
At the start of their meeting, Macron greeted Harris warmly, telling the vice president that the “French people are extremely proud to have you today.” Macron described the global effort as entering a “new era” and said cooperation between the U.S. and France is “absolutely critical.”
Harris echoed that sentiment.
“We are at the beginning of a new era which presents us with many challenges but also many opportunities,” the vice president said. “When the United States and France have worked together on challenges and opportunities we have always found great success because of shared values and shared priorities.”
Neither official mentioned the disagreement over the submarine pact during their remarks, and ignored questions about the state of the U.S.-French relationship following the meeting.