Secretary of State John Kerry says he will travel to Paris this week for talks on countering extremist violence.

Kerry will be in France on Thursday and Friday. The announcement of the trip comes as the Obama administration faces sharp criticism for not sending a senior official to Sunday's rally for unity in Paris that was attended by some 40 world leaders and more than a million people.

Kerry said he is going to reaffirm U.S. solidarity with America's oldest ally, France. He said as soon as he heard about the march, he asked his team when the earliest he could go.

While in Paris, Kerry will be meeting with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and pay tribute to the victims of last week's attacks, which killed 17 people.