Macron meets Kamala Harris at Nasa headquarters as US tour starts

French President Emmanuel Macron and US Vice-President Kamala Harris. Picture: Michael Reynolds EPA-EFE

French President Emmanuel Macron and US Vice-President Kamala Harris. Picture: Michael Reynolds EPA-EFE

Published Dec 1, 2022


Washington - French President Emmanuel Macron met US Vice-President Kamala Harris at the Nasa headquarters in Washington and discussed space exploration and the continued strengthening of joint investments in the exploration of the moon and Mars.

Macron, who is in the US for his official visit, agreed with Harris to strengthen US-France space co-operation across civil, commercial and national security sectors, according to the statement released by the White House.

The meeting is based on the November 2021 meeting that took place in Paris where they agreed to strengthen space co-operation across all sectors.

According to the statement, since that meeting, France has signed the Artemis Accords to guide civil use of space, the US has joined the Space Climate Observatory (SCO) to develop accessible tools for climate monitoring and adaptation, and the US and France held the first Comprehensive Dialogue on Space to discuss co-operation on civil, commercial and national security space initiatives. France announced yesterday the same commitment that the vice-president announced in April 2022 not to conduct destructive, direct-ascent anti-satellite missile testing.

Both had received a briefing from French and US experts on climate science and discussed how to utilise space data better to address the climate crisis. They also discussed the expanded participation of the US in the SCO and the upcoming launch of the US-France Surface Water and Ocean Topography mission that will make the first-ever global survey of Earth’s surface water and comprehensively track changes over time, the statement reads.

Kamala and Macron also discussed space exploration with US and French astronauts, including the continued importance of a crewed presence in low Earth orbit, including International Space Station operations, the statement added.

After reaching the US, Macron tweeted: “USA! A moment to celebrate the friendship between our two countries. A moment to progress together in a time of great challenges.”

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on being asked about the differences between the US and France, accepted them and said they have always worked through them.

In an interview with Christiane Amanpour of CNN, Blinken said: “And do we have differences on certain things? Of course. We always do, but we always work through them. And so, for example, when it comes to some concerns that we’ve heard in Europe over some of the provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act that go to creating incentives for investing in the United States – we’ve heard some concerns expressed by our European partners – we immediately set up a task force with the European Union to work through those concerns, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

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