UPDATED 6:27 PM PT – Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Vice President Kamala Harris met with French President Emanuel Macron during his three-day visit to the United States at the NASA headquarters located in Washington D.C. to discuss the countries joint goals for space.
During the visit, Harris called France a ‘vital ally for the United States.’ By hosting Macron and his wife Brigitte, the Biden administration hopes to underscore the long running relationship with America’s oldest ally.
“We are so very proud to work with France,” Harris stated. “The United States and France have partnered on space exploration for more than 60 years. In this time, we’ve made great strides and yet in so many ways we are beginning a new journey together.”
The French president’s first order of business was to discuss international rules of space and plans for the future.
Harris currently serves as the chair of the National Space Council and has been working to create national security norms in space during her role.
After acknowledging America’s centuries-long ties with France, Harris thanked France for its continued operations at the International Space Station.
“And the United States of course welcomes and is delighted that France and the European Union Space Agency will continue operations at the International Space Station through 2030,” she said.
Harris mentioned the peaceful use of space and how France is working with the U.S. to develop a set of international rules and norms, calling it ‘critically important’.
“Regarding rules and norms, we are working together to develop norms for the responsible and peaceful uses of outer space, and this is critically important work,” the vice president said.
Macron concurred with Harris by saying it’s important France and the U.S. work together on developing rules and norms with our shared values, desire for progress and peace in space.
“I think it’s very important together because we do share this history, we do have the same commitments and attachment to science and progress but we do share as well the same democratic values,” he said
Macron also pointed out the challenges the countries face in space. The French president thinks space exploration is very important for France to participate in.
“I think from a scientific point of view and a human point of view, all these upcoming challenges regarding space exploration, the Moon and Mars and so, on are extremely important for us and I want to thank you for your leadership and tell you our commitment to work closely together,” Macron said.
This visit comes after France signed the Artemis Accords in June. The Accords are a NASA led set of principles detailing the civil use of space on an international level. In response, the U.S. joined the France-led space for climate observatory the same month.
Macron is expected to meet with President Biden at the White House on Thursday for Biden’s first state dinner of his presidency. Biden is expected travel to Louisiana to honor the state’s French heritage.