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Austrian diplomat to speak at School of Law

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A leading Austrian diplomat, whose country has strongly opposed the admission of Turkey into the European Union, will give his country's perspective this month as the inaugural Diplomat's Forum speaker at the KU School of Law.

Robert Zischg, the Chicago Consul General for Austria, will give a lecture on "Friends or Barbarians at the Gate? Austria's Perspectives on Turkey's Bid for EU Membership," at 4 p.m., March 9 in 104 Green Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Zischg's speech is slated just as new negotiations have been authorized to possibly admit Turkey as the first Muslim-majority nation in the 25-member European Union. Turkey formally started its EU membership process last year but has faced mounting public opinion opposition in EU countries, which has been exacerbated recently by the violent reaction in Muslim countries to published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in Danish newspapers.

Austria also holds the revolving presidency of the EU for the first six months of this year.