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Obama calls for unity after bin Laden death

world Updated: May 03, 2011 07:51 IST

US President Barack Obama on Monday called on Washington politicians to use the death of Osama bin Laden to recreate the spirit of national unity that prevailed after September 11 attacks in 2001.

Obama earned a standing ovation from a bipartisan group of lawmakers he had invited to dinner at the White House before news broke of bin Laden's killing by a group of US special forces.

"Last night as Americans learned that the United States had carried out an operation that resulted in the capture and death of Osama bin Laden... I think we experienced the same sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11," Obama said.

"We were reminded again that there is a pride in what this nation stands for and what we can achieve that runs far deeper than party, far deeper than politics."

"I want to again recognize the heroes that carried out this incredibly dangerous mission."

"I know that unity that we felt on 9/11 has frayed a little bit over the years, and I have no illusions about the difficulties and the debates that will have to be engaged in in the weeks and months to come."

"Tonight it is my fervent hope that we can harness some of that unity and some of that pride to confront the many challenges that we still face."