US Vice President in Paris to attend conference on Libya

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris delivers remarks before participating in a bilateral meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building near the White House in Washington, U.S., May 21, 2021. REUTERS/Sarah Silbiger/File Photo

US Vice President Kamala Harris kicks off a four-day visit to Paris on Tuesday, attending a conference on Libya and a peace forum. But the trip is also aimed at mending fences with France following the bitter diplomatic row over the US-Australia submarine deal which left the Franco-US friendship in tatters. 

Harris will hold four days of meetings in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron and other world leaders, delivering remarks at a peace forum and taking part in a multilateral conference on Libya, scheduled for November 12.

The schedule includes a one-on-one sit-down with Macron on Wednesday where Harris will take up President Joe Biden’s recent overtures aimed at restoring ties strained by the AUKUS submarine deal

Harris said in a White House statement that her participation in the Paris Conference proves Washington’s support to Libyans as they plan for elections in December.

The Paris conference on Libya is expected to be attended by the UN, Italy, Germany, and others: about 20 heads of states.

A US official told Reuters that they want to show support for Libyans ahead of elections, saying the conference will focus on the withdrawal of foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya.

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