US Senate condemns Paris attacks; Secretary Kerry arrives in France

The flag of the United States is flown at half-staff at the U.S. Capitol on Sunday, as a mark of respect for victims of the Paris attacks. AP Photo

The U.S. Senate passed a resolution condemning Friday’s attacks in Paris and pledging to stand in solidarity with France. The resolution, approved Monday, also pledges to help France “pursue justice against those involved in these heinous attacks.”

The resolution was authored by Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Ben Cardin of Maryland, the Republican chairman and the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It was co-sponsored by all 100 members of the Senate.

Earlier Monday, the U.S. House of Representatives observed a moment of silence in memory of those killed in the attacks.

In addition, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in Paris to show American solidarity with France. Kerry landed in the French capital on Monday under unusual security precautions that precluded journalists accompanying him from reporting his planned visit – believed to be the first such restriction for a secretary of state’s travel to a European capital.

U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said Kerry will meet and thank U.S. Embassy staffers and hold talks with French officials.

Kirby said Kerry will reiterate Washington’s commitment to the strong U.S.-France relationship, express condolences to the victims of the attacks and reiterate the shared resolve to counter violent extremism in France and elsewhere.

Meanwhile, France’s ambassador to the United States said authorities have yet to identify 15 victims of the Paris attacks. Gerard Araud tweeted the information Monday evening.

French President Francois Hollande said earlier that the dead included people of 19 nationalities.

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