World

Kerry says France trip not to apologize for unity march no-show but to give 'big hug to Paris'

  • U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, 2nd right, holds onto Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, as they walk around a patch of ice on the sidewalk after holding a joint news conference in Sofia Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Rick Wilking, Pool)

    U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, 2nd right, holds onto Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, as they walk around a patch of ice on the sidewalk after holding a joint news conference in Sofia Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Rick Wilking, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • US Secretary of State, John Kerry, smiles during a press-conference at the Council of Ministers building in Sofia, Bulgaria, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. Kerry is in Bulgaria to discuss security cooperation, energy diversification, and the bilateral trade and investment relationship. (AP Photo/Valentina Petrova)

    US Secretary of State, John Kerry, smiles during a press-conference at the Council of Ministers building in Sofia, Bulgaria, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. Kerry is in Bulgaria to discuss security cooperation, energy diversification, and the bilateral trade and investment relationship. (AP Photo/Valentina Petrova)  (The Associated Press)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says he is not traveling to France later Thursday to apologize for the Obama administration's failure to send a senior official to last weekend's unity march, but rather to give "a big hug to Paris" in the wake of terrorist attacks that have left the city on edge.

Kerry told reporters in the Bulgarian capital that he plans "to share a big hug with Paris and express the affection of the American people for France and for our friends there who have been through a terrible time."

He said he had no plans to apologize or try to explain the lack of a high-profile U.S. presence at Sunday's march, which the White House has acknowledged was a mistake.