Harris to help repair US-France relations

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US Vice President Kamala Harris is pitching in on the White House charm offensive aimed at French President Emmanuel Macron.

Harris will arrive in Paris on Tuesday for a four-day visit, the latest move in a concerted effort by the Biden administration to shore up the US relationship with America's oldest ally.

Washington's relations with Paris have hit an all-time low after a joint deal on nuclear-powered submarines agreed between Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom - known as AUKUS - scuttled a French sub arrangement with Canberra.

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison had a very public falling out with Macron during recent UN talks in Europe, and Harris will sit down with the French president on Wednesday at the Elysee Palace for discussions expected to focus on ways the two nations can better co-ordinate efforts in the Indo-Pacific and other issues impacting the relationship.

The high-level meeting comes less than two weeks after President Joe Biden met Macron on the margins of the G20 summit in Rome and acknowledged his administration had handled the submarine deal in a "clumsy" way.

The US and Britain's agreement to provide Australia with submarine technology has been framed as opportunity for the US to bolster a key Pacific ally's naval capacity as the Biden administration has become increasingly concerned about China's military aggressiveness in the region.

But France was livid, saying it was kept in the dark about the deal and its interests were ignored despite having territories in the Indo-Pacific with two million people and 7000 troops.

The French also complained the episode undercut Biden's message that he would stabilise and strengthen the trans-Atlantic alliance after four years of Donald Trump's 'America first' approach to foreign policy.

France even briefly withdrew its ambassador from the US in protest - a move it repeated with its ambassador to Australia - the first time it had done so in some 250 years of diplomatic relations between the nations.

"The alliance between the United States and France is America's oldest, and among our strongest," Harris said in statement about her trip.

"I look forward to discussing with President Macron our work together on the most urgent challenges of our time - including the climate crisis, the global health crisis, and regional security concerns."

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