Weeks into office, Vice President Kamala Harris is reportedly taking calls with foreign leaders on behalf of President Joe Biden.
On Monday, Harris held her second call with a foreign world leader when she spoke to French President Emmanuel Macron, The New York Post reported Tuesday.
Earlier this month, the Veep had a telephone call with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and spoke to the World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in January.
As noted by the Post, Harris’ predecessor Vice President Mike Pence “occasionally spoke directly by phone with foreign leaders, but that role generally was performed by former President Donald Trump, especially last year.”
“A review of press notices from Pence’s final year in office reveals no readouts of direct calls with the leaders of foreign nations,” the Post added.
A statement from the VP’s office said 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.”
“They also discussed numerous regional challenges, including those in the Middle East and Africa, and the need to confront them together,” the statement added.
The French leader tweeted Monday to Harris: “Glad we had this first talk [VP] Kamala Harris! Let’s move forward together on all the challenges we face: climate, gender equality, regional crises, and our space cooperation with (hopefully) a new step this Thursday with Perseverance’s landing on Mars!”
Glad we had this first talk @VP Kamala Harris! Let's move forward together on all the challenges we face: climate, gender equality, regional crises, and our space cooperation with (hopefully) a new step this Thursday with Perseverance’s landing on Mars! https://t.co/5Qb1T8Pkqp
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) February 15, 2021
The Veep spoke with Prime Minister Trudeau on Feb. 1. “During the call, Harris offered assurances that the Biden administration would ‘do everything it can’ to secure the release of two Canadian citizens detained by China, according to a readout from the White House,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
A senior official familiar with the call told the LA Times that Harris “proactively brought up” two Beijing imprisoned Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor during the call, “something that was appreciated by Trudeau and Canadian officials.”
“The two also discussed Canada’s contact tracing smartphone app that notifies Canadians of exposure to the new coronavirus,” the report said. “The app is voluntary and if someone tests positive, other users who have the app and have been in proximity are alerted they’ve been exposed to someone who has tested positive.”
Harris also “discussed trade policies between the nations and ‘avoiding the unintended consequences of Buy America policies,’” the report added.
Two days into the job, President Biden spoke with Trudeau in his first call as president with a foreign nation’s leader, the Post reported, noting that he spoke with Macron two days after that.
“Although Pence seldom spoke with world leaders toward the end of his term, he did so occasionally in earlier years and sometimes met with foreign leaders on trips abroad,” the Post said. “Pence spoke on the phone with Trudeau in 2019 and with the presidents of Argentina and Australia in 2017. He spoke in 2018 and 2019 with Colombia’s president. He spoke in 2018 with Iraq’s prime minister and in 2019 with Ukraine’s president.”
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