Tags: Barack Obama | paris | leaders | germany | israel | britain | march

Kerry: Stop 'Quibbling' About Obama as No-Show at Paris Rally

By    |   Monday, 12 Jan 2015 08:55 AM

People are just "quibbling" over the failure of President Barack Obama or any senior U.S. official to join other major world leaders at Sunday's massive anti-terrorism march through the streets of Paris, Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday.

More than 40 world leaders linked arms to lead Sunday's march, reports NBC, but neither Kerry, Obama, nor any top U.S. official attended the event. Instead, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland,  the leading U.S. diplomat for Europe, and the U.S. ambassador to France were the U.S.' official representation.

World leaders — ranging from British Prime Minister David Cameron, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov — were among about 1.6 million people at the Paris march, reports CNN.

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Kerry, in India during Sunday's march, said he plans to travel to Paris this week, according to NBC, where he will express the United States' solidarity with victims of last week's violent attacks on the staff of the satirical Charlie Hebdo journal, on police officers, and at a kosher supermarket, among other places.

"We have offered, from the first moment, our intel, our law enforcement and all of our efforts, and I really think that, you know, this is sort of quibbling a little bit," Kerry told a reporter.

The U.S. relationship with France was "not about one day, or one particular moment," he said.

The Obama administration would not speak on the record about how the United States was represented at the march, reports CNN.

"Attorney General Holder — a Cabinet level official — is representing the United States at the security meetings in Paris today," a senior Obama administration told CNN Sunday. "He is joined by the DHS Deputy Secretary [Alejandro] Mayorkas. The United States is represented at the march by Ambassador Hartley."

Another administration official told CNN that there have been several public signs of solidarity from the United States, including "several public statements from the President, his call to [French President Francois] Hollande and a condolence stop to the French embassy."

And on Sunday night, yet another White House official, who CNN reports did not wish to be named, said that it is "worth noting that the security requirements for both the president and (vice president) can be distracting from events like this — for once this event is not about us!"

However, that official did not tell CNN how other world leaders were able to work out security requirements.

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People are just "quibbling" over the failure of President Barack Obama or any senior U.S. official to join other major world leaders at Sunday's massive anti-terrorism march through the streets of Paris, Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday.
paris, leaders, germany, israel, britain, march
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2015-55-12
Monday, 12 Jan 2015 08:55 AM
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