WMU News

French and German diplomats discuss relations with U.S.

March 1, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- Two leaders of the French and German consulates in Chicago will be on the Western Michigan University campus, Friday, March 14, to discuss their countries' relations with the US against the backdrop of the current crisis over Iraq.

Dr. Dominique Decherf, Consul General of France, and Dr. Alexander Petri, Consul General of Germany, will discuss "France, Germany, and the United States: Friends, Allies, or Foes?" at 1 pm in the Putney Lecture Hall, Room 1010, of the Fetzer Center. The panel discussion is sponsored by the WMU Institute of Government and Politics and is free and open to the public.

"The discussion will be a tremendous opportunity for the community to hear some different views that haven't necessarily been stated in the popular media," says Dr. Gunther Hega, associate professor of political science and director of the institute.

The discussion will open with statements made by both Consul Generals about German-French relations, their countries' relationships with Europe and their foreign policies regarding the United States. After both statements, Hega, who will serve as moderator, will take questions from the audience.

If war with Iraq occurs without the consent of the United Nations, Hega notes, the consequences could be harmful.

"If the US decides to act unilaterally, it would have some very serious effects on NATO, the UN, and most importantly, the trans-Atlantic relationship we have with these two countries," Hega says.

Media contact: Matt Gerard, 269 387-8400, matthew.gerard@wmich.edu

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