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Kerry to visit Paris on Thursday

India Blooms News Service | | 12 Jan 2015, 07:57 pm
Rawalpindi/ Washington, Jan 12 (IBNS) US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday said he will visit Paris on Thursday to show solidarity with France in the wake of recent terrorist attacks that hit the nation and left 17 people dead.

Kerry tweeted: "Just announced travel to #Paris Thursday night to pay respects to French people - US support is ongoing and constant."

Kerry is currently on a two-day visit to Pakistan.

Days after France witnessed three days of deadliest militant attacks, beginning with massacre of journalists and cartoonists in satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo office killing 17 people so far in sieges, several world leaders, including President Francois Hollande, in a show of solidarity against terrorism marched with more than a million others in Paris on Sunday to send a strong message to the radicals.

In a show of unity, about 40 world leaders joined the start of the march which is considered to be one of largest demonstrations the country has seen in recent times.

France witnessed a dark day in its history on Jan 7 with gunmen attacking the Paris office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and killing at least 12 people , including cartoonists and two policemen, as global leaders joined to condemn the incident.

The militants suspected of orchestrating France’s worst terror onslaught - two brothers of Algerian descent and an associate of African origins - were killed.

Also dead were four of the people held hostage at Hyper Cacher, the kosher supermarket located in eastern Paris.

Altogether, 20 people, including the three militants, died in three days of bloodshed.

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again; UNESCO regrets #HagiaSophia, #Turkey, #Istanbul, #HagiaSophiaMosqueAgain Istanbul/IBNS: Hagia Sophia, Turkey's iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the central attractions of its capital Istanbul, is no longer a museum. It has been turned back as a mosque though some 1500 years ago it was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman time in 1453 while under Ataturk it was turned into a museum in 1935. The decision comes amid a growing rise of the Islamists in Turkey who had been demanding that it be restored as a mosque though Opposition leaders with secular credentials had been against the move. A top court in Turkey ruled that turning it into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey's secular architect Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was illegal, paving the way for present Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare it as a mosque again and to open it for Muslim prayers. Erdogan made the announcement an hour after the court ruled the conversion to museum in 1935 as illegal and scrapped its status. "May it be beneficial," posted Erdogan on Twitter, sharing an official document on the change with his signature. UNESCO regrets In an immediate reaction, UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" the decision. UNESCO said it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand". "UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement. Istanbul icon of beauty and wonderment According to Turkey's official tourism website, Hagia Sophia is a remarkable achievement in the history of architecture. and a living proof of mankind's revolt against the laws of physics and it calls it a monument whose importance transcends borders. It is one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites attracting millions of visitors across the world with its majestic grandeur

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again 11 Jul 2020, 01:37 pm