U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris has laid flowers at a Paris memorial to mark the anniversary of Islamic State attacks that killed 130 people in the French capital six years ago
PARIS — U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris laid flowers at a Paris memorial to mark the anniversary Saturday of Islamic State attacks that killed 130 people in the French capital six years ago.
Accompanied by her husband, Doug Emhoff, Harris laid a bouquet of ivory flowers at the foot of a victims’ memorial and spoke to people inside the bar. On its counter, 13 candles in the French colors of blue, white and red had been lit.
Nine Islamic State gunmen and suicide bombers struck within minutes of one another in 2015, targeting the national soccer stadium, cafes filled with people, and the Bataclan concert hall — site of the worst carnage with 90 dead. It was the deadliest violence to strike France since World War II and among the worst terror attacks to hit the West.
This year’s commemorations come amid a mammoth trial in Paris for 20 men accused of carrying out the bloodshed or of assisting the attacks. The trial opened in September and has heard weeks of searing testimony from survivors and first responders. Six of the accused are being tried in absentia.
French officials also held a series of commemorations Saturday at the attack sites.
Harris’ trip was part of a sustained effort by Washington to mend relations with France, America’s oldest ally, that were rocked by a secretly negotiated U.S.-British submarine deal with Australia that led to a prior deal with France being scrapped.
Harris said on Saturday before her departure that the “very productive” trip would be followed with more work.
“This trip was about, of course, making clear the long-standing relationship, but also that as we go into a new era for the world, that our work will continue,” she said. “We do it with a sense of optimism, but a sense of strong conviction that the partnership between the United States and France remains and will continue to be a very strong one.”