Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff lay wreaths at the Suresnes American Cemetery outside Paris where 1,541 US World War I soldiers are buried – before VP’s meeting with Macron
Vice President Kamala Harris participated on Wednesday in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial in the wealthy Paris suburb of Hauts-de-Seine.
Harris attended the memorial event with her husband, second gentleman Doug Emhoff during a four-day charm offensive trip to France.
Buried at the cemetery in France are 1,541 American troops who were killed in World War I and 24 unknown dead of World War II.
The ceremony comes the day before Veteran’s Day in the U.S. and Armistice Day, when World War I officially ended as Allied powers signed a ceasefire with Germany in Compiégne, France on November 11, 1918.
Countries that observe Armistice Day include, but are not limited to, Belgium, France, the United Kingdom, 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 the Suresnes American Cemetery on Wednesday
Buried at the cemetery in the suburbs of Paris are 1,541 American troops killed in World War I and 24 unknown dead of World War II
Harris stands in front of a wreath at the Suresnes American Cemetery on Wednesday to honor U.S. troops who fell in World
Later on Wednesday afternoon, Harris will hold a bilateral meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron amid rising tensions over the U.S. submarine pact with Australia and Britain dubbed AUKUS.
The deal was able to happen as Australia secretly negotiated to buy U.S.-designed nuclear submarines and subsequently ditched a $60 billion deal struck with French defense contractor Naval Group.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drain called the security pact in the Indo-Pacific a ‘stab in the back’ and Macron, despite France being an ally of all three countries, recalled his ambassadors from the U.S. and Australia.
The trip comes after then-President Donald Trump snubbed a 2018 commemoration for U.S. soldiers and marines killed during World War I at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in Belleau, France.
The president and then-first lady Melania were scheduled to pay tribute at the cemetery 50 miles east of Paris, but the White House said it was canceled due to weather preventing his helicopter from traveling to the site.
The vice president is in Paris on a charm offensive to mend relations after the AUKUS submarine deal was struck with the u.s., Britain and Australia
Harris takes part in laying a wreath Wednesday at the Suresnes American Cemetery in the eve of Veterans Day in the U.S. and WWI Armistice Day in France
Now Harris is in Paris to mend another fence related to striking a deal with Australia behind Macron’s back.
Harris and Macron are expected to discuss at their Wednesday meeting U.S. support for France’s military mission against jihadists in the African region of Sahel, as well as French-backed plans to beef up European defense capabilities.
After the wreath-laying ceremony, Emhoff will break off from his wife and meet with U.S. Embassy staff and their families in Paris as Harris prepares for her meeting with Macron.
The vice president began her multi-day trip to France by meeting with American and French scientists working on COVID-19 global preparedness at the Pasteur Institute in Paris on Tuesday.
On Thursday, Harris is slated to deliver a speech at the annual Paris Peace Forum and on Friday will participate in the Paris Conference on Libya.