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US 'not as divided as some suggest' - Obama seeks to soothe racial tensions after shootings

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US 'not as divided as some suggest' - Obama seeks to soothe racial tensions after shootings

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US President Barack Obama has been seeking to soothe racial tensions at the end of a week in which five policeman were killed by a sniper in Dallas and two black men were killed by police in Minnesota and Louisiana.

Speaking at the NATO summit in Warsaw, Obama said: “As painful as this week has been, I firmly believe that America is not as divided as some have suggested.

“Americans of all races and all backgrounds are rightly outraged by the inexcusable attacks on police, whether it’s in Dallas or any place else.”

The President has long pushed for greater gun control in the US.

In his remarks in Warsaw, Obama also discussed the presence of an apparently legally owned gun in the car of the motorist who was shot dead during a traffic stop in Minnesota.

“We can’t just ignore that,” he said, “and pretend that that’s somehow political or the president is pushing his policy agenda.

“It (the wide availability of guns) is a contributing factor – not the sole factor – but a contributing factor to the broader tensions that arise between police and the communities where they serve.”

Obama arrived in Spain late on Saturday for a one day visit, the final stop on his European trip. The visit has been cut short, as he will be returning to the US early in order to go to Dallas following the shootings.

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