- President Barack Obama says America "stands with" France following the terrorist attacks this week
- He offered America's "deepest sympathy and solidarity" to the country
- The U.S. government is supporting the French government in its investigation
He made the remarks during an appearance in Knoxville, Tenn. to announce a new higher education initiative. Obama told the audience in Knoxville "we stand for freedom, and hope, and dignity of all human beings," adding, "that's what Paris stands for."
"That spirit will endure forever," he added, "long after terrorism is banished from this world."
His comments follow a tumultuous few days
for France, where two hostage situations and a shooting at a French satirical paper erupted in two days, resulting in numerous deaths.
Obama made a visit to the French Embassy on Thursday to offer his condolences following Wednesday's attack by three gunment on journalists at Charlie Hebdo, which resulted in 12 deaths.
He signed a book of condolences for the victims of the attack
shortly after returning from a trip to Arizona for a speech previewing his State of the Union address.
"On behalf of all Americans, I extend our deepest sympathy and solidarity to the people of France following the terrible terrorist attack in Paris," the President wrote.
"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. We go forward together knowing that terror is no match for freedom and ideals we stand for -- ideals that light the world. Vive la France!"
Obama also met with the French Ambassador, Gérard Araud, who called the visit "a moving and highly significant gesture" in a tweet.
"The French are grateful," the ambassador said.
Obama on Wednesday vowed to "hunt down" the perpetrators of the "cowardly, evil attacks," and the United States is supporting the French government in its investigation into the attack. On his flight back from Arizona, the President spoke with his national security team about the latest developments.