Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryThe continuous whipsawing of climate change policy Budowsky: United Democrats and Biden's New Deal Overnight Energy: 600K clean energy jobs lost during pandemic, report finds | Democrats target diseases spread by wildlife | Energy Dept. to buy 1M barrels of oil MORE is travelling to Paris on Thursday, saying he will give the city "a big hug," but not apologize for the absence of a higher-ranking U.S. official at a unity rally last weekend.

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The White House acknowledged on Monday that it should have sent someone with a higher profile to the march in response to the terror attack on the offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo

"I don't feel any other exigencies, other than continuation of our friendship and our responsibilities as good friends and the longest ally in our history, and that's why I am going," Kerry said in Bulgaria on Thursday before heading to Paris, according to The Associated Press. 

Kerry had announced his trip to Paris on Monday, amid criticism of the U.S. over the march. Speaking shortly before the White House admitted to a mistake, Kerry downplayed the criticism. 

“The United States has been deeply engaged with France from the moment this horrific event took place,” Kerry said. “And I really think, you know, this is sort of quibbling a little bit.”

On Thursday, Kerry said he plans to "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."