- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 11, 2015

Heads of state from Europe to the Middle East marched in Paris Sunday to honor the victims of last week’s terrorist attacks, but the U.S. was represented only by an ambassador as higher-ranking officials either stayed home or worked behind the scenes.

Obama administration officials told CNN the U.S. is represented at the so-called unity rally by U.S. Ambassador to France Jane Hartley. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. also is in Paris but has not been seen at the march and instead is taking part in security meetings.

By contrast, other world leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and about 40 more linked arms for the march, which reportedly drew more than 1 million people.

Even Russia sent a more prominent official — Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

But White House officials deny they’re disrespecting France at a time when the key U.S. ally is recovering from three days of horrific terrorist attacks.

“As far as public signs of French solidarity from the U.S., don’t forget several public statements from the president, his call to [French President Francois] Hollande and a condolence stop to the French embassy,” an administration official told CNN.

• Ben Wolfgang can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

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