Kerry to Visit France, US’s ‘Oldest Ally’, over Islamist Terror

January 12, 2015  

US Secretary of State John Kerry announced Monday that he would travel to Paris later this week for talks with French officials, after the series of lethal attacks by Islamist terrorists last week.

“I will be travelling there on Thursday and be there on Friday, part of Friday,” Kerry told reporters on a visit to India.

Kerry said he wanted to be able “to show the connection between the United States and our oldest ally” in the wake of last week’s Paris attacks in which 12 were killed at the headquarters of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, four Jews were murdered at a kosher supermarket, and a policewoman was shot dead.

“The relationship with France is not about one day or one particular moment,” said the top US diplomat.

“It’s an ongoing…relationship that is deeply, deeply based on…shared values especially on the commitment to the freedom of expression,” he added at a press conference in India’s west coast state of Gujarat.

That comment on freedom of expression likely addressed the attack on Charlie Hebdo, given that the paper stirred controversy in the past by publishing pictures of Mohammed. The Islamist terrorists who committed the massacred shouted out “the Prophet has been avenged.”

However, Art Spiegelman, creator of the Pulitzer Prize winning graphic novel on the Holocaust “Maus,” condemned American media for refusing to print cartoons of the French satirical magazine.

“I think it’s so hypocritical to drape yourself in freedom of speech and then self censor yourself to the point where you are not making your readers understand the issues,” Spiegelman said.

AFP contributed to this report.

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