WASHINGTON, Feb 15 (Reuters) – U.S. Vice-President Kamala Harris spoke to French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday, expressing her commitment to strengthening bilateral ties between the two countries, her office said in a statement.
President Joe Biden, a former vice president himself under Barack Obama, has had Harris at his side for multiple events during his early White House tenure, indicating he wants her to have a key role in implementing his political and policy agenda.
The call with Macron, leader of a G7 nation, shows Harris is taking a role in foreign policy as well, an area in which the former U.S. senator from California has significantly less experience than Biden.
“Vice President Harris and President Macron agreed on the need for close bilateral and multilateral cooperation to address COVID-19, climate change, and support democracy at home and around the world,” the vice president’s office said in a statement.
“They also discussed numerous regional challenges, including those in the Middle East and Africa, and the need to confront them together,” the statement said.
Harris also spoke to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier this month in her first call as vice president with a foreign leader.
Biden, a Democrat who took over from Republican former President Donald Trump on Jan. 20, has sought to re-engage with allies and with global institutions after four years of his predecessor’s “America First” mantra.
Trump withdrew the United States from the World Health Organization and the Paris climate accord and largely scoffed at multilateral organizations and groups.
Biden had previously spoken with both Trudeau and Macron in January.
(Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis and Jeff Mason; Editing by Dan Grebler)
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