President Obama said Monday night that leaders in Washington should build on the unity around the capture of Osama Bin Laden to resolve other issues that divide them.

“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, we experienced the same sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11,” he said at a dinner at the White House for congressional leaders. “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.”

He added, “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.”

The dinner gathered more than 50 lawmakers, leaders of both parties and ranking members of key committees, as well as most members of Obama’s Cabinet. It was organized well before the bin Laden news and is part of a broader White House effort to have more informal gatherings with members of Congress