French President Emmanuel Macron has visited NASA headquarters and says US-French co-operation is important to counter the presence of "rogue states" in space as he begins a visit to the United States to discuss issues ranging from the war in Ukraine to China with American leaders.
Macron arrived in Washington on Tuesday for his second state visit to the United States since taking office in 2017 and is expected to confront President Joe Biden over new American subsidies that are riling European leaders already facing the economic fallout following Russia's February invasion of Ukraine.
Macron's first public engagement was at the headquarters of the US space agency alongside Vice-President Kamala Harris, who said the two would discuss collaboration in space to tackle climate change and on security.
Macron said space represents "a new place of conflict" and it was important for France and the United States to work together on setting rules and norms because they share a commitment to science as well as democratic values.
"We have crazy players in space as well, and we have rogue states there and we have new hybrid attacks," Macron said on Wednesday, speaking in English.
Harris and Macron announced new US-French co-operation on space during a meeting in Paris a year ago.
France joined the United States and several other nations in ruling out destructive, direct-ascent anti-satellite missile testing after Russia struck one of its own satellites in orbit last year, creating debris and drawing scorn from the United States and its allies.
After the NASA visit, Macron was treated to lunch at the Library of Congress, where he addressed US lawmakers on climate change and biodiversity.
Macron said France and the United States should join forces to reform the International Monetary Fun and the World Bank so their funds could be directed to countries hit by climate change.
Australian Associated Press