Kamala Harris on the relationship with France: “We must not take it for granted”

The US Vice President, Kamala Harris, who this Saturday concludes a five-day visit to Paris, stressed today that her presence in France is a reflection of the importance that her country gives to the bilateral relationship, marked this September by a political crisis, but not take it for granted.

“We must not take relations for granted. (…) I am undoubtedly here as a representative of my country and my presence is a sign of the priority that the United States gives to France,” he said at a press conference.

Harris stressed that the objective of his trip was not to address again the dispute that opened last September after Australia canceled a contract for the purchase of French submarines to opt for other Americans in the heat of an alliance with Washington and London hatched behind the back of Paris.

The US and France staged the close of that crisis in the meeting between Presidents Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron in late October in Rome, in which the former admitted that they had acted “clumsily.”

Still, Harris stressed that in his meeting with Macron on Wednesday at the Elysee, they discussed common challenges and the importance of paying attention to established partnerships.

“We understand the importance of being present,” he added about his trip to Paris, within which he commemorated this Thursday the Armistice Day of the First World War (in which both countries were allies), inaugurated together with Macron the Paris Forum for La Paz and this Friday participates in an international conference in support of Libya.

“When I think about this (bilateral) relationship, I do so from a historical perspective. We must remember history and lay the foundations for what to do for the future,” the vice president added to the press.

Harris also reiterated his country’s support for strategic autonomy from the European Union in military matters: “France and the United States have had a supportive relationship for a long time and that will continue,” he concluded.

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