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French Ambassador Speaks at UF Oct. 3 about U.S. and France Relations

September 27, 2005

GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- The Ambassador of France to the United States will speak at UF on Monday about French and American relations and the future of the European Union.

Ambassador Jean-David Levitte will present “The United States and France in a World Transformed,” in the Constans Theater at the Reitz Union at 4:30 p.m. The visit is sponsored by UF’s France-Florida Research Institute (FFRI).

He will discuss the current status of Franco-American relations and about the recent “no” vote of the French and the Dutch concerning the proposed European Union constitution, and the consequences of this vote in an European Union comprising 25 countries and 450 million citizens.

“Ambassador Jean-David Levitte has been a major force in restoring Franco-American cooperation and friendship after a difficult period in our countries’ relations brought on by differing policy views on the war in Iraq,” said Carol Murphy, director of the FFRI. “His commitment to collaborative research and student and faculty exchange between American and French universities is strong, and his visit is an exceptional opportunity for UF students and faculty to engage with him in debates about France, the United States and the future of the European Union.”

Levitte has been a French diplomat for more than 30 years. He has served on the staff of two French presidents and has held various senior positions in the French foreign service. In 2000, he was appointed by French President Jacques Chirac as French Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Levitte has handled several international negotiations.

UF’s France-Florida Research Institute was established in 2002 and receives funding from the French government and UF. It serves as an umbrella organization to centralize and promote the numerous teaching and research activities that link UF to French and francophone research centers and academic institutions.

There will be an opportunity for media to ask questions before the lecture from 3:45 p.m.- 4:15 p.m. in the lobby of the Constans Theater. The lecture is free and open to the public.

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