John Kerry in France to Give Paris 'A Big Hug'

Stung by criticism over decision not to send high-ranking official to Paris anti-terror rally, Obama admin sends Sec of State 4 days later.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Better late than never, right?
Better late than never, right?

US Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday he wants to give Paris a "big hug" after last week's Islamist attacks in the French capital, when he travels there later in the day.

"My visit to France is basically to share a big hug for Paris and express the affection of the American people for France and for our friends there who have been through a terrible time," Kerry said in Bulgaria.

He said it was a "continuation of our responsibilities as good friends and the longest ally in our history. That's why I'm going."

Kerry was due to leave Sofia for Paris late Thursday for talks on Friday with French President Francois Hollande.

It is his first trip there since Islamist extremists last week killed 17 people in attacks on the offices of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, a Jewish supermarket and a policewoman.

The White House was forced to admit it had made a mistake in not sending a higher-ranking representative to a mammoth march in Paris attended by dozens of world leaders on Sunday, after critics savaged the Obama administration over the gaffe.

Washington was represented at the event by the US ambassador to France, Jane Hartley.

Kerry also said that it was possible he might meet Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Paris for more talks towards agreeing an elusive nuclear deal by a July 1 deadline. The two men met in Geneva on Wednesday for several hours.

"There is no final decision," Kerry said.

AFP contributed to this report.