Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Paris, France, where he met with Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and then with President Francois Hollande to offer condolences after last week's attacks and to reiterate the support of the United States for the French people and our ongoing commitment to providing any assistance needed. Before his meeting with President Hollande, Secretary Kerry said, "...We watched the people of France come together with a great sense of purpose and unity. It was a great lesson to the world, I think. And France, through its commitment to freedom and to the passion of ideas, has made an important statement to the world. So really, our hearts are with you."
The Secretary and Foreign Minister Fabius laid wreaths at Hypercache Market and the Charlie Hebdo office. The Secretary also laid a wreath at the site of the fallen policeman near the Charlie Hebdo office. He then met with the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, and they both delivered remarks. Secretary Kerry said, "...On the day of the living nightmare that began at Charlie Hebdo, I had a chance to share a few thoughts with you from back home in Washington. And today I just -- I really wanted to come here and share a hug with all of Paris and all of France. I wanted to express to you personally the sheer horror and revulsion that all Americans felt for the cowardly and despicable act, the assault on innocent lives and on fundamental values."
Secretary Kerry continued, "...Your commitment to liberty and freedom of expression inspires the world, and I can’t begin to tell you how moved I was to see people come together near and far during the march. What was intended to tear us apart has brought us together. That is what the extremists fear the most. But make no mistake: what the extremists and the thugs and the terrorists do not understand and what they cannot understand is that brave and decent people will never give in to intimidation and terror -- not now, not ever."
For more information:
- Trip Details: Secretary Kerry's Travel to Germany, India, Pakistan, Switzerland, Bulgaria, and France, January 10-16, 2015
- Secretary Kerry's Remarks With Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo After Their Meeting, January 16, 2015
- Secretary Kerry's Remarks With French President Hollande Before Their Meeting, January 16, 2015
- Photos From Secretary Kerry's Travel to Paris, France, January 16, 2015