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Dallas Shootings Cast Shadow over Obama Trip to Spain | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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U.S. President Barack Obama is welcomed by Spain’s King Felipe as he arrives aboard Air Force One at the Torrejon airbase, outside Madrid, Spain, July 9, 2016. REUTERS/Javier Barbancho

Madrid,Washington,Dallas-U.S. President Barack Obama wrapped up a lightning visit to Spain on Sunday, an “abbreviated” first presidential trip to the country overshadowed by the fatal shooting of five police officers in Dallas.

Obama, speaking in Madrid, renewed his appeal for calm and cautioned those protesting police killings of black Americans against blanket criticism, saying the majority of officers do a good job.

“If the rhetoric does not recognize that, then we’re going to lose allies in the reform cause,” he said.

“Whenever those of us who are concerned about fairness in the criminal justice system attack police officers, you are doing a disservice to the cause,” Obama added.

This is Obama’s first official visit to Spain in 15 years and it came after his participation in the NATO summit in Warsaw.

In an interview with Spain’s El Pais published on Saturday, Obama called Spain “an indispensable European partner.”

“Spain is a strong NATO ally, we’re grateful for Spain’s many decades of hosting U.S. forces, and we’re major trading partners,” Obama said in the interview. “That’s why the United States is deeply committed to maintaining our relationship with a strong, unified Spain.”

Obama also said that the European austerity has resulted in a decade of stagnation and expressed concern about the current condition in Europe, especially following the Brexit.

Moreover, protests continued for the third straight day after the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling, 37, by police in Baton Rouge on Tuesday and the death of Philando Castile, 32. They shut down main arteries in a number of U.S. cities, leading to numerous arrests, scuffles and injuries in confrontations between police and demonstrators.

Since Thursday evening, the world got introduced to David Brown whose way of talking and professional journey added a humanitarian approach to the police foundation that is recently being severely accused.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown, 55, lost his brother to drug violence and his partner in the line of duty. His son killed a police officer and a bystander before being shot dead by a cop himself – right after Brown became chief of police.

Micah Johnson, 25, former fighter in Afghanistan, is the killer who intentionally shot 10 police officers following the Dallas shootings. He killed five and wounded five others. Johnson started posting on Facebook in 2009 and his posts expressed a pessimist view towards the white and black struggle that had started centuries ago.