US Vice President Kamala Harris and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed Wednesday that their countries are ready to work together again after a diplomatic drama surrounding a submarine deal put the relationship at a historic low.
This was their first meeting at the Elysee presidential palace since the AUKUS incident, after weeks-long efforts by Washington to mend relations with France, the US' oldest ally.
The US and the UK brokered a deal with Australia for nuclear submarines earlier this year, which led to a prior contract between Australia and France to be scrapped and to cost the French billions.
Harris' four-day trip to Paris comes after President Joe Biden told Macron during a meeting in Rome on October 29 that the US had been "clumsy" in handling the submarine issue.
Biden didn't formally apologise to Macron but conceded the US should not have caught its oldest ally by surprise.
After their meeting Wednesday evening, Macron said he had had "a very fruitful meeting" with Harris.
"We do share the same view that we are at the beginning of a new era and our cooperation is absolutely critical for this one," he went on.
Echoing the French president's comments, Harris said: "I think we share this belief that we are at the beginning of a new era, which presents us with many challenges, but also many opportunities."
"Building on the great conversation that you and President Biden had, I look forward to the next few days. We'll work together and renew the focus that we've always had on a partnership," Harris added.
The two representatives are expected to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic, cooperation on space and climate change, amid other topics.
Earlier Wednesday, the US Vice President paid her respects to Americans who died in the two World Wars and are buried in a cemetery overlooking the Paris skyline.
Harris will attend Armistice Day commemorations in France on Thursday.