President Obama extended his condolences to the people of France today and reaffirmed the United States’ solidarity with the country in the wake of the deadly terror attacks that ravaged Paris two weeks ago.
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“We have come to Paris to show our resolve,” President Obama said in his first public remarks at the United Nation’s summit on climate change. “We offer our condolences to the people of France for the barbaric attacks on this beautiful city. We stand united in solidarity not only to deliver justice to the terrorist network responsible for those attacks but to protect our people and uphold the enduring values that keep us strong and keep us free.”
The president, in his first visit to France since the Paris massacre, reflected on the collection of heads of state for the climate conference, asking “what greater rejection of those who would tear down our world than marshaling our best efforts to save it?”
Obama met with Chinese President Xi on the sidelines of the summit Monday morning, but the global threat of terrorism overshadowed their pledge to cooperate to cut global carbon emissions. Without directly mentioning the Paris attacks launched by the Islamic State earlier this month, President Obama expressed his condolences to President Xi for the killing of a Chinese hostage at the hands of ISIL.
“This is a threat to all of our countries,” Obama told reporters as Xi listened. “I look forward to discussing how China can play a greater role in addressing this crisis, and especially supporting a political transition in Syria, and assisting on humanitarian needs because what’s clear is that China is invested in helping to resolve global problems, and all of us, including the United States, benefits.”
At nearly 1 a.m., within an hour of landing in Paris, Obama made an impromptu stop at the Bataclan theater, one of the sites targeted by terrorists in the deadly attacks earlier this month. He was accompanied by French Francois President Hollande and Parisian Mayor Anne Hidalgo.
Obama laid a single white flower, bowed his head and stood in silence at a card-and-candle laden memorial outside the theater, the deadliest site of the Nov. 13 attack that left 130 people dead and hundreds wounded.
Obama is joining Hollande and other world leaders in launching Mission Innovation, a new clean energy initiative built on commitments from 19 countries, including India and China, to double investments in clean energy research and development over five years.
In addition to the multi-government worldwide project, a group of billionaires, led by Bill Gates and including Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson and Jack Ma, will commit to providing money to jumpstart some of these projects.