Vice-President Kamala Harris took part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial on Wednesday, in the wealthy Parisian suburb of Hauts-de-Seine.
Harris attended the memorial event with her husband, second gentleman Doug Emhoff on a charming four-day offensive trip to France.
Buried in the cemetery in France, 1,541 American soldiers were killed in WWI and 24 unknown dead in WWII.
The ceremony takes place on the eve of Veterans Day in the United States and Armistice Day, when World War I officially ended when the Allied Powers signed a ceasefire with Germany in Compiègne, France, November 11, 1918.
Countries that observe Armistice Day include, but are not limited to, Belgium, France, UK, Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria.
Vice President Kamala Harris (left) and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff (right) participate in a wreath laying ceremony at Suresnes American Cemetery on Wednesday
Buried in the cemetery of the Parisian suburbs, 1,541 American soldiers killed during the First World War and 24 unknown dead during the Second World War
Harris stands before a wreath at Suresnes American Cemetery on Wednesday to honor fallen American troops
Later Wednesday afternoon, Harris will hold a bilateral meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron amid mounting tensions over the US submarine pact with Australia and Britain, dubbed AUKUS.
The deal was made possible when Australia secretly negotiated the purchase of American-designed nuclear submarines and then abandoned a $ 60 billion deal with French defense contractor Naval Group.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drain called the Indo-Pacific security pact a “stab in the back” and Macron, although France is an ally of the three countries, his ambassadors recalled from the United States and Australia.
The trip comes after then-President Donald Trump snubbed a 2018 commemoration for US soldiers and marines killed in World War I at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in Belleau, France.
The then president and first lady Melania were due to pay their respects at the cemetery 80 km east of Paris, but the White House said it was canceled due to weather conditions preventing his helicopter from operating. go to the site.
Superintendent Keith Stadler (right) chats with Harris and Emhoff during a tour of Suresnes American Cemetery on Wednesday
Vice President is in Paris as part of charm offensive to restore relations after AUKUS submarine deal is reached with US, Britain and Australia
Harris participates in the laying of a wreath at the Suresnes American Cemetery on Wednesday on the eve of Veterans Day in the United States and World War I Armistice Day in France
Superintendent Stadler (left) and the second couple observe the cemetery from above on a visit Wednesday as security details are pictured right
Harris and Superintendent Stradler touch the gravestone of Inez Crittenden who was a leader of the “Hello Girls”, the US Telephone Corps in France during World War I
Harris is now in Paris to mend another fence tied to reaching a deal with Australia behind Macron’s back.
Harris and Macron are expected to discuss at their meeting on Wednesday U.S. support for the French military mission against jihadists in the Sahel region of Africa, as well as plans backed by France to bolster European defense capabilities.
Following the wreath-laying ceremony, Emhoff will break up with his wife and meet with U.S. Embassy staff and their families in Paris as Harris prepares for his meeting with Macron.
The vice-president began her multi-day trip to France by meeting with American and French scientists working on global COVID-19 preparedness on Tuesday at the Institut Pasteur in Paris.
Harris is expected to speak at the annual Paris Peace Forum on Thursday and will attend the Paris Libya Conference on Friday.
While at the institute in Paris Tuesday afternoon, Harris and Emhoff met with French virologist and immunologist James Philip Di Santo and an American researcher.
Di Santo said they are working to understand why people have different symptoms and findings from the coronavirus and rely heavily on nasal swabs in their research.
Harris joked that she was “intimately familiar” with nasal swabs – the easiest and most common way to test a positive COVID-19 case.
Upon arriving in Paris on Tuesday morning, a reporter asked Harris: “What is your message for President Macron?”
“It’s good to be in France and I look forward to many days of productive discussions building the strength of our relationship,” she dodged, remaining oblivious to a question of how she “will appease them. tensions “with the French president.
Following the wreath laying and the tour, Harris will prepare for a bilateral meeting with French President Emanuel Macron while Emhoff visits families at the U.S. Embassy in Paris.
Harris and Emhoff visited the Institut Pasteur in Paris on Tuesday to visit and meet with American and French scientists working on global COVID-19 preparedness
A French journalist asked Harris during Pasteur’s tour about reconciliation tactics with France in the wake of the AKUS split, saying the institute was evidence of collaboration between Washington and Paris.
Harris agreed and spoke at length about the scientific process and how it is better than politics because it involves guesswork and investigation instead of just presenting a big plan.
“Scientists operate with a hypothesis. I like this. They start from a hypothesis and test it, ”she said, adding that if it doesn’t work,“ everyone comes together and nobody gets beaten up about it ”.
“With us in government, we are campaigning with the plan – capital letter T capital letter P,” Harris added, saying there was not much room for innovation and fixes if there were “problems.” “.
She said it was a general statement and not general comments on Bidne’s agenda for better reconstruction which was not adopted last month in a social spending and welfare program of $ 3.5 trillion to Congress.
“There will be problems and there will be mistakes,” she said of the policy making. “If you don’t make the same mistake twice… it’s a good process and we have to encourage it.”