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    Unity March in Paris

    Obama's Absence at Paris March Symbolizes Lack of US Leadership: US Senator

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    The absence of US President Barack Obama from the Paris Unity March, during which over one million people walked together to show unity against terrorism and solidarity with victims of the terrorist attacks, drew criticism in the United States.

    WASHINGTON, January 12 (Sputnik) — The lack of high-level US presence at Sunday’s unity march against last week’s terror attacks in Paris shows the United States is withdrawing its leadership from the world, Texas Senator Ted Cruz said Monday.

    “The absence is symbolic of the lack of American leadership on the world stage, and it is dangerous,” Cruz said of the US decision not to send a high-level delegate to the Paris demonstrations in the opinion piece published in the “Time” magazine.

    Cruz noted that “sadly, no one from the White House was found among the more than 40 Presidents and Prime Ministers who walked the streets” during the solidarity march. The march was scheduled to show international unity against violent extremism in the wake of the terrorist attacks in France this past week. Cruz added that the United States must “stand up and lead the effort” against violent extremism.

    The White House has not officially responded to criticisms from lawmakers or the US press as to why Obama did not attend the Paris rally. US Secretary of State John Kerry tweeted on Monday a confirmation that he would be traveling to Paris on Thursday “to pay respects to the French people.” He reassured that “US support is ongoing and constant.”

    President Obama spoke on Friday stating that his administration had been “in close touch with the French government,” providing counter-terror and law enforcement support.

    A unity rally was held in Paris on Sunday for those who were killed in the terrorist attacks on the Charlie Hebdo magazine office on January 7 and hostages killed at a kosher supermarket outside Paris on Friday.

    The march was attended by over 1 million citizens and 40 world leaders, including British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.


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