"All visits to Paris seem quick. You always want to stay longer in Paris," President Obama said of his two-day trip to the City of Light

By Peter Mikelbank and Tierney McAfee
Updated December 01, 2015 05:55 PM
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Credit: Evan Vucci/AP

Wrapping up a busy two-day visit to Paris on Tuesday, President Obama took a moment to pay tribute to the shaken City of Light in the wake of last month’s terror attacks that killed 130 people.

“In the immediate aftermath of a terrible attack like [what] happened here in Paris, sometimes it’s natural for people to despair,” he said at a press conference Tuesday.

“But look at Paris. You can’t tear down Paris because of the demented actions of a handful individuals,” he continued. “The beauty, the joy, the life, the culture, the people, the diversity – that’s going to win out every time.”

The president also spoke about his Sunday night visit to the memorial at Bataclan concert hall, the scene of the tragic attacks, which he described as “a powerful reminder of the horrible human toll of these attacks.” “Our hearts go out to the victims’ families,” he said.

Obama was in Paris for the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, which brought together 195 nations to set goals for combatting climate change. Despite ongoing security concerns, France hosted the conference as planned in a move Obama praised as a “remarkable display of resolve,” according to CNN.

Obama noted at the press conference that a successful outcome for the climate talks will include a “legally binding” agreement to ensure all countries follow through with their pledges to reduce their carbon emissions.

“If we let the world keep warming as fast as it is, and sea levels rising as fast as they are, and weather patterns keep shifting in more unexpected ways, then before long we are going to have to devote more and more and more of our economic and military resources not to growing opportunity for our people but to adapting to the various consequences of a changing planet,” he said.

Despite an action-packed agenda that included a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Obama also found time to take in some fine French cuisine with President Francois Hollande and Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday night.

The trio and several others ended a long day of climate talks with a “working dinner” at L’Ambroisie, a three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Paris’ Marais neighborhood.

Quintessentially French, their menu included a cepes mushroom custard, wild fish from Brittany and a cheese course before the family-run restaurant’s signature dessert, a cocoa tarte – all washed down with a Bourgogne white, a Bordeaux Red and a Banyuls with dessert, a source tells PEOPLE.

Further praising Paris during Tuesday’s press conference, the president noted the “resilience of the values we share: liberte, fraternite, egalitie.”

“This has been a quick visit,” he added, pausing a moment to reflect. “All visits to Paris seem quick. You always want to stay longer in Paris.”