- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 11, 2021

Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday said French President Emmanuel Macron is interested in joining the Artemis Accords, a 2020 agreement that promoted responsible space exploration and set the table for a return to the Moon.

“As the head of the [National] Space Council, I can tell you we’re very excited about the prospect of that and the work that we can do together,” she told reporters in Paris.

The accords were signed in October 2020 as part of the Trump administration’s renewed interest in space exploration and efforts to send Americans back to the Moon by 2024.

Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the United Arab Emirates, the U.S. and U.K. signed on, with Ukraine, South Korea, New Zealand, Brazil and Poland joining the fold later.

The accords are designed to establish rules of the road for mining the Moon and space exploration in farther realms, even Mars. It calls on nations to collaborate on space missions, minimize debris generation and provide emergency assistance to each other when needed.

Ms. Harris spoke on her way to an Armistice Day wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the base of the Arc de Triomphe.

SEE ALSO: ‘Cringe’: Harris takes heat for awkward French accent in lab tour

The vice president praised the French-American relationship after a lengthy bilateral meeting with Mr. Macron on Wednesday which included a glimpse of former President Charles de Gaulle’s desk and talk of Parisian institutions such as the university, Eiffel Tower and Pasteur Institut.

“That prompted a discussion about our longstanding commitment, going back to Ben Franklin, on the issue of scientific research and medical research, what we are prepared to do to address the pandemic, pandemic preparedness, but also again, the relationship that the United States and France have in working together to address the issues affecting our partners around the world, and I’ll speak more about that later,” Ms. Harris said.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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