Obama pays respects at French Embassy after Paris attack

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President Barack Obama signs a condolences book during a visit to the French Embassy, on Thursday. | AP Photo

WASHINGTON (AP) — Declaring that “terror is no match for freedom,” President Barack Obama paid his respects Thursday at the French Embassy in Washington following the Paris terrorist attack that left a dozen people dead at a newspaper office.

A solemn-looking Obama filled nearly a page in a condolence book set up on a spare table draped with a blue tablecloth. Behind him hung a painting of George Washington at Yorktown with French Gen. Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, better known as Count Rochambeau.

“As allies across the centuries, we stand united with our French brothers to ensure that justice is done and our way of life is defended,” Obama wrote. “We go forward together knowing that terror is no match for freedom and ideals we stand for — ideals that light the world.”

He signed off with “Vive la France!”

Afterward, Obama stood briefly near the table with his head bowed in a moment of silence before shaking hands with embassy personnel.

Obama has denounced the “cowardly, evil attacks” that took place Wednesday at the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. He said the assault was an attack on journalists and a free press.

French authorities are still searching for the two brothers who are believed to have carried it out.

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