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Crossing the Sea of Buto [ATTN: Natal]

Pelasgia

Elder Statesman
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
2,612
Location
Athens, Greece
Capital
Propontis
Nick
Demos
Camp Hill, Natal

Theodosios Margarites, 3rd Baron Margarites, was a man of slightly above average height and large build, and visibly though not atrociously overweight. Pale-skinned and blue-eyed, he hailed from the fertile inland farmlands of Drabescus in Old Pelasgia. His sharp nose and sharp chin had earned him the nickname "Baron Shark" among his colleagues; though such a name did not match his personality, his good manners and courtesy being well known, it certainly matched the modus operandi of the class to which he belonged. Margarites' family belonged to the New Peers, commoner bureaucrats and technocrats who had risen through the ranks of the Pelasgian State apparatus, especially the civil service and the security services. Formally made into Peers of the Emperor, these New Peers were used by the small group of military and security officers who truly ruled the Pelasgian State as a loyal bureaucracy to operate the state mechanism to the exclusion of the liberal bourgeoisie. Margarites was, for lack of a better word, a hawk, and a very competent one at that. Having served in state services and companies closely linked to HIM Own Secret Service (the Krypteia) before his entry into HIM Diplomatic Service, he could speak with full authority for the true powers that be in Propontis, not the symbolic Emperor or the even more powerless Chamber of Deputies.

Margarites was far from surprised to hear of his being summoned by the Natalian Government. The ODS and DDI had been growing closer by the day, and further and further from Kadikistan. Pelasgia and Natal had always had an awkward relationship, the same being true for Pelasgia and the ODS. As for the DDI, Pelasgia's relationship to it was clearly hostile, as the DDI constantly tried to encircle Pelasgia and encroach on its sphere of influence. Pelasgia judged that this would eventually end in regime change in Propontis and the separation of Philistaea, which the Empire's authorities had no desire whatsoever to facilitate. The alliance with Kadikistan, at first a last-minute agreement to avoid world war, had grown into a real relationship of trust as the two states, otherwise extremely hostile, found themselves mutually assailed by liberals and democrats on all sides, the said liberals and democrats viewing Pelasgian Absolutism and Kadikistani Communism alike as a heretical anathema that had to be eliminated from the face of Europe. Margarites held no grudge; Pelasgia would eliminate liberalism and democracy in a nanosecond, if it could. Natal's purpose, Margarites wagered in his report to the Empire's Foreign Ministry, would be to try to convince Pelasgia to recreate the Trier Concordat-Propontis-Bourgogne Axis against Kadikistan. Pelasgia, for its part, always saw that alliance as unstable and unruly, and finally abandoned it when the Trier Concordat aggressively provoked Ivar into war against Pelasgia's repeated warnings and despite three Pelasgian interventions to avoid a Germanian war.

For the moment, the return of such an alliance at the expense of the Status Quo Treaty seemed like a pipe dream. And yet, the Pelasgian delegation (and Propontis through them) were willing to hear Natal out, if for no other reason other than a sentiment of Himyari solidarity. Natal, however, would have to make one hell of a case to assure Pelasgia that the DDI and ODS would not one day come to bring universal suffrage and gay marriage to Propontis with the help of Sylvanian and Touzenite fleets in the Long Sea. Pelasgia had come to see Kadikistan as a good ally, especially since Kadikistan's intervention on the Pelasgian side against Justosia. To make matters more complicated, Pelasgia and Natal found themselves on opposite sides of the Nzadi conflict and the Pelasgian colonisation of the Far South. To Pelasgia, Nzadiland could never admit any regime but one endorsed by Propontis, to avoid opening the Empire's flanks to terrestrial invasion. Pelasgia would not back out of its defending its interests in Nzadiland, even if it took force, as recent weeks had made ever clearer. As for the Far South, Pelasgia saw the colony as firmly established and had no desire to back out of it, especially given the Far South's proximity to Serenierre, a long-time Pelasgian ally.

With all this in mind, Margarites stepped into the meeting room, bowing before the summoning Natalian leadership, in accordance with Pelasgian diplomatic tradition. "It has come to my attention that Your Excellencies have summoned me," he said.
@Natal
 

Natal

Elder Statesman
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
745
Location
Glasgow
Capital
Camp Hill
Nick
Ovi
Combs House, Camp Hill

The meeting was called with the Pelasgian ambassador and was a straight to the point, no frills one. Maybe the Pelasgian diplomat might have known why he was called but he was surprised as he was invited into the office of the State President, only to find not only Liam Savage, the State President, but also Bradley Ross, the Chief Minister and Cyrus Black, the Minister of External Affairs.

"Mister Margarites, I am very happy to see you again, I am sad though this happens in such a tense time, I hope that once things relax, we could return back to our tennis games in Wakerley, in Harton," said Liam Savage, as he offered the ambassador a seat on the other side of the desk, and a secretary brought him a cup of coffee.

"I know that our countries are very different," he started. "Himyar in itself feels like a huge place, in which every country is a world in itself and every country has its very weird and different political systems, from the Pelasgian translatio imperii from the old Tiburans, to the Azraqi whose authority is built on the religious element, namely Islam, to Natal, which has its own idealistic foundations, but has its own quirks, to all the countries of the south-east of Himyar and even the... non-countries like Nzadiland. In this continent of ours, the H3, have always stood as the main players, because they were so different, yet so similar, they were always the big players, and somehow always in balance. It is probably this balance that have made up mutually respect each other, in a way that none of the Himyari Lions come together against the other and none felt the need to impose its own supremacy over the others, knowing that it would bring only problems that... are better to be avoided. That is why we have created the Forum of Cooperation, or as it was called back then EHTO. Pelasgia did join as an associate member after the war against communism in Loago. Azraq joined us as a full member a few weeks ago," he said. Savage knew that first and foremost, it is Himyar that he needed to tend for first. Gallo-Germania was a far away land that froze over for six months. Northern. Faraway. Cold. Foreign.

"I actually invited you here to present you an invitation to join the Forum of Cooperation as a full member. Like I said before, the H3, as any pride of lions in the wild, is circumspect to one another, I would say it would be unnatural to have an institutional framework that brings Himyar together and ignore the fact that Propontis wouldn't be a member of it and have its voice heard," he said.

"Hence why, as a part of this Himyari centred element, I would like to first and foremost also congratulate you. I know that Camp Hill has been critical to Pelasgia for the endeavours in the far south, the same way Pelasgia has been to Natal's in Loago. It is all, probably a part of the game of balances and checks are exists in Himyar, which has made our continent stay away from the continuous strife and war of Gallo-Germania. But it has been brought to my attention that a plan and guidelines for a road away towards Home Rule has been set up for the Far South, and me, as a Natalian and having our own history as a nation created by home rule and responsible government from a company state, can not only applaud it, but rather even state, that we as a country are extremely happy to see it happen.

This makes me move to another colonial issue and that is Nzadiland. I know it is a problematic one as it might see a clash of Natalian and Pelasgian interests in there. But I want first and foremost, to make Natalian intentions clear. Natalians want peace. That is what they want. Peace in Nzadiland, peace in Natal. Peace at home and peace in the world, you know the saying. I will be frank about it. There has been a situation of a rising stream of refugees first coming from the far east, from Loago, Port Stanley and even the Dune Sea, and another now, coming from Nzadiland, as those... potentates, left behind by the failure of Gallian colonialism wreak havok like the hordes of the Eternal Empire did 800 years ago. Those refugees are putting a strain on the infrastructure of the Federation and sadly, rill up political ideals to the right which only open a can of worms which can only create more and more groups like the HPU or their predecessors, the NRA. The more the people need to find refuge from Nzadiland, the more they will feel alienated. The more locals feel that refugees are taking over, the more they feel alienated. The more and more people feel like that, the more the natural order of the world might come crashing down as more and more groups like the HPU are spawning. And I feel that is a problem not only for Natal, or the nations around from which those people flee, but rather for Pelasgia and Azraq too. The HPU declared a people's war against all the Himyari nations but Port Stanley. To defeat this kind of movements, we need to cut them from the root, not only destroy them in the battlefield. For that, a pacification of Nzadiland was deemed necessary by us. That is why, Natal is trying to bring together and to force whose.... potentates, into working to form a functional state," he said, always making sure to try and replace the term warlord when discussing the Nzadiland situation.

"This is why we are in Nzadiland and we wanted to pacify the Uele province, along the Northcott Channel. What we want, is to cooperate with Pelasgia in this, because we know that Nzadiland is a problem for you too, not us. And, as Pelasgia decided to respect Natal and its policies of demilitarizing the Northcott Channel, we want to do the same, and not cross the channel because we know it would irk Propontis, yet, we want to work together with you in improving the situation there," said Liam Savage and then let the minister of External Affairs, Cyrus Black take over.

"There is also another issue, Mr Margarites. As you know, Pelasgia was a member of the Trier Concordat and even if our eyes, it was a good mediator between Trier and Ivar, even if, sometimes, Germanians are sometimes too arrogant to listen to Himyaris, to their own loss it has shown. As Propontis took a step back after Trier's folly, you clearly know that Natal has joined the ODS and probably in being friends of Trier, we have something in common. We have one request for you and your government. Nothing to make problems for the Status Quo Treaty that your government has signed 60 years ago, but rather something else. Propontis is respected deeply both in Trier and Ivar. As Pelasgians never wanted to die in Gallo-Germania fighting unnecessary wars, Natalians don't want either. We want peace to prevail and for that, we know that the current tensions have the potential of exploding into a world war from which neither the ODS, nor Rurikgrad can come our unscathed or in any... decent form... let's say. What we want to ask is to organise a peace summit, which would defuse the current tensions and we hope that your government, being well seen in both Ivar and Trier, could host it," said Cyrus Black.
 

Pelasgia

Elder Statesman
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
2,612
Location
Athens, Greece
Capital
Propontis
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Demos
Combs House, Camp Hill
"The pleasure is all mine, Your Excellency," replied Ambassador Margarites, sipping his coffee. He had always like Natalian coffee, and made a point of bringing some back home to the misses every time he got to return to Propontis. The presence of three dignitaries versus one had taken him by surprise, but it was a testament to the seriousness of the times.

"Indeed, Himyar is a truly diverse place. But this is its strength after all: when one Gallo-Germanian regime changes, they must all change. But in Himyar, the Tiburan-descended state of Pelasgia could become undone tomorrow, and the Natalian model of statehood or the Azraqi caliphate would still be around. And vice versa, of course. As diversity and proximity breed conflict, it is only natural that our countries should try to cooperate to minimize that conflict. I am truly humbled by your proposition for full membership to the Forum of Cooperation; it has long been Pelasgian policy to seek admission to this most prestigious of Himyari forums. As you yourself say, the forum is not whole without Pelasgia, and, may I add, neither is Pelasgia's foreign policy without the forum. As such, I can provisionally accept, subject of course to the formal ratification of membership by His Imperial Majesty's Government in Propontis."

First had come the carrot, then the praise. Margarites knew well enough to politely accept both, having judged the rewarded asked more than appropriate and surprisingly lucid, in times of increasing international polarisation.

"I must thank you, on behalf of Pelasgia, for your congratulations regarding South Himyari Home Rule. Though it is perhaps at a premature stage, the effort for the Independence of South Himyar as a Dominion of His Imperial Majesty is overdue if Pelasgia, South Himyar, and all of Himyar are to move forward. Anything less would retard our progress and growth. Natal itself is proof of the wonderful things that Home Rule can accomplish, things that colonial oversight never could. Though there was a time for colonial tutelage in South Himyar, I think we can both agree that it is past, with the ethnic conflicts between the Kintu, Kéké, and settlers finally settled."

"It relieves me greatly," Margarites said after pausing for a bit, masking his thinking with a sip of coffee, "to see that Natal shares our wish for a stable, peaceful Nzadiland. It equally pleases me to see that Natal understands our concern for the continuation of the Sea of Buto's status as a neutral demilitarized frontier between our rather different states. As you know, Pelasgia has made use of non-violent means so far, as has your own Government, to try and install a new regime in Nzadiland. One ruled by Nzadis, for Nzadis, and composed of Nzadis, without foreign overlords, Pelasgian, Gallian, Natalian or otherwise. This is, in our view, the only way Nzadiland as a State can be sustained. Unfortunately, as you must have started to realise yourselves, Nzadiland will not readily stabilise proprio motu, at least not before decades elapse. We cannot, in the meantime, allow chaos to reign in the country as warlords gradually carve a state out of anarchy, while refugees flee the carnage wreaked on all sides. In both the interest of humanity and of our nations, we must intervene to stop such a tragedy. Therefore, it seems inevitable that an international intervention will be necessary, in the form of a military presence. We have readied troops north and south of Nzadiland, as you must have surely noticed, in anticipation of this. However, we believe that most of the efforts on the ground should be conducted by Nzadis themselves, with external forces only supporting them. If you would so agree, we would propose this arrangement: the Forum of Cooperation will recognise the Transitional Council as the Government of Nzadiland and institute a transitional regime to end colonisation; your own affiliates will be joined to this Council; then, a multi-national Himyari force will be sent by the Forum to help the Council establish a modern, civilian state in Nzadiland. The civilian component will be led by members from all Forum countries, including Natal of course, though the military component will be mainly Pelasgian, for obvious geopolitical reasons (namely, not violating the Sea of Buto's status). We would allow and help with the establishment of a Natalian police or intelligence presence to oversee and stop refugee waves, and relocate the refugees back to temporary centres in Nzadiland, where they will be cared for until they can return to their homes in Nzadiland."

The last request surprised Margarites the most. He visibly took some moments to think before responding.

"Mr. Black, the issue of Germania is the gravest of our time," he said; "We completely understand your sentiment, of course. We stopped the Germanians and the Kadikistanis from fighting a war three times over the last sixty years, and they still managed to fight one. Hence, we left the Trier Concord, to avoid shedding Pelasgian blood and destroying peace in the Long Sea over geopolitical power plays that had little to do with us. I feel that your assessment of our role is an accurate one. We still have many friends in Trier, and our working relationship with Ivar, despite ideological hatreds, is excellent. We would be more than willing to host such a summit. We saved the Germanians from themselves three times already, and this time, we might end up saving Himyar from getting dragged into this pointless slaughter, with your help of course. What I say is that you should organise this peace summit as soon as possible, and we will host it and help you with it in any way, shape, or form you deem necessary."
 
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