What They’re Saying: Vice President Harris’ Successful Trip to France
November 23, 2021
The reviews are in on Vice President Harris’ successful trip to France, where she reaffirmed America’s partnership with our oldest ally, stood with world leaders in pressuring Libya to hold democratic elections, and passionately spoke on the need to address global inequality.
Here’s a media roundup of the Vice President’s trip:
By Jeremy Diamond, 11/13/2021
Beyond their time together, Harris’ solo visits were also powerful diplomatic messaging moments.
Harris’ multi-hour attendance and remarks at the Paris Peace Forum helped lend credibility to a Macron initiative. Her visit to the French biomedical research Pasteur Institute highlighted longstanding French-American cooperation on scientific research — as well as Harris’ own personal connection to that cooperation in the form of her mother’s research at the institute in the 80s. And a final visit to one of the sites of the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris on the sixth anniversary underscored shared values and a commitment to fighting terrorism.
But it was Harris’ visit to the Suresnes American Cemetery, where Americans who fought and died in France during World Wars I and II are buried, that served as perhaps the most powerful reminder of the shared sacrifice between the two countries and a deeply rooted bond.
“If there is any question about the why or the what, in terms of our relationship as the United States with France, that is one visual and one concrete example of the endurance and the mutual commitment and interdependence between the United States and France,” Harris said on Friday, reflecting on her visit to the cemetery.
By Noah Bierman, 11/11/2021
Harris’ trip to France has afforded her an opportunity to reveal herself on the world stage — highlighting her status as the first woman and the first woman of color to serve in such high office — after 10 months of focusing on responding to the COVD-19 pandemic and other crises that have left her domestic reputation battered.
As she introduces herself to America’s oldest ally, Harris is doing so in personal terms. She has visited a Parisian laboratory where her mother, an Indian-born scientist, conducted medical research, and the gravesite of a fellow barrier-breaker from Oakland, the vice president’s hometown, as part of her Veterans Day remembrance. Her keynote speech at the Paris Peace Forum on Thursday not only included references to her mother, but also to larger themes around growing inequality in the world.
By Jared Malsin, 11/12/2021
Vice President Kamala Harris and other world leaders gathered in Paris on Friday to make a diplomatic push in support of coming elections in Libya that could make or break the peace process in a country that has been torn apart by war and political crisis for a decade.
Ms. Harris, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and other European and Middle Eastern leaders joined the summit, which ended with a statement urging Libyans to hold the election as scheduled on Dec. 24. French officials have argued that holding the election on time will provide a definitive solution to Libya’s political crises since the 2011 ouster and death of dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
By Brett Samuels, 11/11/2021
Vice President Harris on Thursday implored world leaders gathered in Paris to see the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to examine how to address global inequality.
Harris spoke at the Paris Peace Forum, an annual gathering of political and private sector leaders, where she focused her remarks on the need for collaboration to erase gender inequality, wealth inequality and food inequality.
She noted the pandemic has exacerbated many of those issues, with school closures threatening access to education for children and highlighting disparities in internet access, and economic troubles hampering progress to close the gaps between men and women in the workforce.