Paris: French President Francois Hollande today said that the participation of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at France’s VE day ceremony was a “mark of friendship” between the two countries.
Kerry, and later Hollande, laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier at the foot of the Arc de Triomphe to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the allied victory over Nazi Germany.
“If there is a victory, it is one for all the allies and the Americans played a big role and it was a mark of friendship that John Kerry, on behalf of President Obama, made to us by being present for this ceremony,” Hollande said after the ceremony.
He said a ceremony like this helped to unify the country in the wake of attacks in Paris earlier this year by Islamist gunmen.
“There are those who want to divide us, those who want to oppose us, those who want to break the national unity and my responsibility — and a ceremony like this one could contribute to it — is to unify, it’s to say what we have in common and not only what is singular or particular,” Hollande said.