MILITARY

Kerry pays respects to Paris terror attack victims with 'big hug'

  • France's President Francois Hollande, left,  welcomes U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, at the Elysee Palace in Paris,  Friday Jan. 16, 2015. Kerry arrived Friday in the French capital for American solidarity with the French people after last week's deadly terrorist attacks. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)

    France's President Francois Hollande, left, welcomes U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Friday Jan. 16, 2015. Kerry arrived Friday in the French capital for American solidarity with the French people after last week's deadly terrorist attacks. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, center left, talks with French President Francois Hollande, center right, and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and U.S. Ambassador in France Jane Hartley, third from right, at the Elysee Palace in Paris after their meeting Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. Kerry arrived on Friday in the French capital for American solidarity with the French people after last week's deadly terrorist attacks. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, center left, talks with French President Francois Hollande, center right, and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and U.S. Ambassador in France Jane Hartley, third from right, at the Elysee Palace in Paris after their meeting Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. Kerry arrived on Friday in the French capital for American solidarity with the French people after last week's deadly terrorist attacks. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry leaves the Elysee Palace in Paris after a meeting with Frend President Francois Hollande, second from left in the background, Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. Kerry arrived in the French capital for American solidarity with the French people after last week's deadly terrorist attacks. At right is U.S. Ambassador in France Jane Hartley. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry leaves the Elysee Palace in Paris after a meeting with Frend President Francois Hollande, second from left in the background, Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. Kerry arrived in the French capital for American solidarity with the French people after last week's deadly terrorist attacks. At right is U.S. Ambassador in France Jane Hartley. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)  (The Associated Press)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting top officials in France to express America's solidarity with the French people after last week's deadly terrorist attacks.

Kerry was seeing French President Francois Hollande and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius Friday morning before laying wreaths at the sites of the two attacks. Kerry, who said he was coming "to share a big hug with Paris," will then join the mayor of the city at an event that is to include a short performance by musician James Taylor.

Kerry's visit comes amid lingering criticism of the Obama administration's failure to send a cabinet-level official to Paris for last week's unity march that attracted some 40 world leaders and more than a million demonstrators.