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Awkward: John Kerry Brings James Taylor to Paris, Sings ‘You’ve Got a Friend’

America's top diplomat went to Paris for some high-level fence-mending in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

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US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) talks to singer James Taylor after Taylor's performance at Paris City Hall in Paris on January 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO / POOL / RICK WILKING (Photo credit should read RICK WILKING/AFP/Getty Images)

In the days following the attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo and a kosher grocery store, the White House has come under intense criticism for not dispatching a high-level official to join last Sunday’s solidarity march in Paris. More than 40 world leaders joined French President Francois Hollande for the event, but the United States only sent along its ambassador in Paris.

On Friday, Secretary of State John Kerry sought to sing his way out of the controversy. Following meetings with Hollande, Kerry — a notorious Francophile and classical guitar player — appeared at the Paris city hall alongside James Taylor, who delivered a rendition of “You’ve Got a Friend.”

Prior to traveling to Paris, Kerry had said he hoped to give the French people a “big hug.” On Friday, he laid wreaths at the offices of Charlie Hebdo and the grocery.

Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images

 

Elias Groll is a staff writer at Foreign Policy covering cyberspace, its conflicts, and controversies. @eliasgroll

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