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Dublin: 2 °C Wednesday 19 February, 2020

White House: 'We should have sent someone more important to Paris march'

Security arrangements prevented Obama from attending.

Obama France Newspaper Attack Source: Carolyn Kaster/AP/Press Association Images

THE WHITE HOUSE said earlier today that it should have sent a higher-ranking representative to the massive weekend march against terrorism in Paris, which was attended by many world leaders.

“We should have sent someone with a higher profile to be there,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said. Washington was represented at the event by the US ambassador to France, Jane Hartley.

Earnest said President Barack Obama would have liked to have gone himself, but suggested that the security requirements and short planning time had prevented it.

“The security requirements around a presidential level visitor or even a vice president level visitor are onerous and significant,” he said.

In a situation like this they have a pretty significant impact on the other citizens who are trying to participate in a large public event like this.

About 1.5 million people flooded the streets of the French capital Sunday to memorialise the 17 people killed in attacks in Paris that began last week with a massacre at a satirical weekly and ended with a hostage stand-off at a kosher grocery.

Charlie Hebdo magazine shooting Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

French President Francois Hollande was joined at the march by 50 world leaders, including the Israeli prime minister and the Palestinian president, in a display of unity that made headlines worldwide.

Despite the relatively low-level US representation, Earnest said, “there should not be and is not any doubt in the minds of the people in France or people around the world and certainly not among our enemies about how committed to a strong relationship that the United States is with France.”

- © AFP, 2015

Read: France sees more than 50 anti-Muslim incidents after Charlie Hebdo shootings >

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