Obama says attacking police hurts reform

Police stand near a baracade following the shootings in Dallas on July 7

Police stand near a baracade following the shootings in Dallas on July 7

Barack Obama hastily concluded his first visit to Spain and potentially his last to Europe as USA president Sunday in the wake of the Dallas shootings. U.S. President Barack Obama and other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders attended a second day of a summit meeting in Warsaw expected to lead to decisions about Afghanistan, the central Mediterranean and Iraq.

U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with Spain's King Felipe as he arrives at the Torrejon military air base in Madrid, Spain Saturday, July 9, 2016. But events beyond Mr. Obama's control have turned his first and only visit to Spain, the largest European country that had yet to welcome the president, into a rushed one.

NAVAL STATION ROTA, Spain-President Barack Obama visited a Spanish military base with a strong US presence to highlight the need for deeper defense ties between America and Europe as the region takes a more watchful stance toward Russian Federation.

He repeated that the vast majority of USA police officers are doing a good job, and said rhetoric portraying them as otherwise does little to rally support for the effort to overhaul a criminal justice system broadly recognized as biased against minorities.

He will also make a stop at a naval base in Rota near Cadiz in southern Spain.

Obama repeated Sunday that most USA police officers do a good job under hard circumstances.

The President, who arrived in the late afternoon ET Saturday and is scheduled to depart in the early afternoon ET Sunday, canceled a town hall meeting with young Spaniards and will not go to Seville, where he was to meet with King Felipe VI and see cultural attractions.

Speaking at a news conference following the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Warsaw on July 9, Obama called on Americans to unite against acts of violence and "not let the actions of a few define all of us".

Michelle Obama was in Spain to attend the presentation of "Let Girls Learn" at the Matadero Cultural Center with Spain's queen.

The King sent a telegraph to Obama on Friday offering the condolences of the Spanish people and condemning the violence in Dallas.

But he also urged law enforcement officers to treat seriously complaints that they can be heavy-handed and intolerant, particularly toward blacks.

Obama's comments came after meeting with Spain's acting prime minister, Mariano Rajoy (mah-ree-AH'-noh rah-HOY').

Rajoy's party also won an election in December, but no other major party would help him form a government.

One of the United States' great virtues, Obama said, is its openness to protest and efforts to speak truth to power.

Obama will return to Washington late Sunday night, ahead of a visit to Dallas planned for early in the week to mourn the five killed and others injured in Thursday night's attack.

Obama's meeting with Rajoy came as Spain grapples with high unemployment and remains in the grip of a political crisis sparked by two general elections that produced no clear victor.

Shortly before departing for the base, the White House says he met with leaders from Spain's main opposition parties.

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