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Kerry lays wreath at kosher market hit by militant attack

Kerry told his French counterpart Fabius that he had been unable to attend Sunday’s massive march in Paris because he was on the road

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Friday laid a wreath in front of the Jewish supermarket where a gunman killed four people in a hostage siege last week.

The two top diplomats set down the garland of red roses, carnations and white lilies, bearing a white bow with gold trim bearing the words “The United States of America” on a visit by Kerry to pay tribute to the 17 people who died in three days of attacks in the French capital.

Earlier today, Kerry told his French counterpart Fabius that he had been unable to attend Sunday’s massive march in Paris because he was on the road.

Kerry said he was in Bulgaria and India. “That’s why I couldn’t come,” he told Fabius after the U.S. sparked criticism for sending a relatively low-level representative to the march that drew 1.5 million people and dozens of world leaders.

Kerry arrived in Paris on Thursday from Sofia, Bulgaria, where he said his trip to France is to express the “affection” Americans have for France, which has been on edge since the attacks.

“I don’t feel any other exigencies, other than continuation of our friendship and our responsibilities as good friends and the longest ally in our history, and that’s why I am going,” Kerry said.

Kerry announced on Monday that he would add a stop in Paris to a previously scheduled trip to Germany, India, Pakistan, Switzerland and Bulgaria. The announcement came as critics derided the administration for not sending the president, vice president or a Cabinet-level official to the demonstration even though Attorney General Eric Holder was in Paris for counterterror meetings.