Secretary of State John Kerry said those questioning why the Obama administration didn't send any senior officials to France's unity rally on Sunday were "sort of quibbling a little bit."
Kerry also said the U.S. should get credit for sending a senior State Department official to France in March, almost a year ago.
"I really think this is sort of quibbling a little bit, in the sense that our Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, was there in March," Kerry said Sunday in India. "Our ambassador was there in March. Many people from the embassy were there in March."
Kerry also said it was important for him to keep his commitment to visit India early this week.
"As everybody knows, I have been here in India for a prior planned event," he said. "I would have personally very much wanted to have been there, but couldn't do so because of the commitment that I had here, and that's important to keep those kinds of commitments."
Kerry did note that he will travel to France "on the way home" to the United States.
"I don't think the people of France have any doubt about America's understanding of what happened, about our personal sense of loss, and our deep commitment to the people of France in this moment of trial," he said.
Kerry also said the U.S. relationship with France is not just about "one day."
"I want to emphasize that the relationship with France is not about one day or one particular moment," he said. "It's an ongoing, longtime relationship that is deeply, deeply based in the shared values, and particularly the commitment that we share in freedom of expression."