Skipping Stones (Attn - Zhorya)

Discussion in 'The World Stage' started by Petites-Pays, Oct 1, 2019.

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  1. Petites-Pays

    Petites-Pays Well-Known Member

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    It was still relatively warm during the day. The nights were getting chilly though, and so everyone had a sweater with them. The meeting would take place outside of the Royal Palace by the Low Gallian Landscape garden, a large curated grassy knoll with a small temple and beautiful pond. A small greenhouse could be seen nearby. The purpose of this meeting was get a feel for the Zhoryan people via their delegation and come to some agreements for a better working relationship. It was a priority that the Federal Council felt on the foreign relations front as only secondary to the relationship with the Anti-State.

    It was at this moment that a carriage pulled by horses could be heard in the distance. Even today, distinguished guests were brought to the Royal Palace via horse drawn carriage, unlike the more uncivilized countries about the globe which felt that a motorized vehicle was best. Speed is only important over large distance. Anything in a city was not a large distance. Federal Councilor and Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Michel Laurent did not know who the Zhoryans planned to send to meet him. He did have a trick up his sleeve though, just in case the Zhoryans brought along someone special. They would be arriving at the Royal Palace after all. As the carriage came into view, the individuals inside which had access to the finest Gallian wine and food, could see the individuals ready to help them down from the carriage dressed in exquisite light blue suit uniforms.

    They would sit in the enclosure of the temple which was at the top of the grass lawned hill and overlooked the swan pond. There is where Michel Laurent stood, as he waited for his guests to be escorted up to the hill to him. They arrived promptly and they all took a seat at the table which had more wine available, but also cognac and an assortment of cakes and macarons. The meeting here was informal in some ways, to not be the sort of meeting of formality that suffocated visitors in ceremony as so many others normally did.
     
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  2. Zhola

    Zhola Member

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    The invitation from the government of the Petites Pays had been a breath of fresh air for the zhoryan government, has it had spent the last months being accosted by resurgent urodoah nationalism in Mazagan and by the opposition, which aimed to take something out of the current situation, wether it was simply rising in the polls or, however unlikely it was to happen, to split the governing coalition, with the Moderate Party attempting to form a coalition government of their own, and if not, to force early elections. While of course any positive outcome from the meeting would be good in itself, the government hoped that any agreement with the Petites Pays could perhaps divert the attention from the issues at home, even if just during an evening news broadcast.

    The diplomatic mission was led by Ziaeddin Sarkis, First Secretary of Foreign Affairs. Accompanying him were Zola Nuri-beg, the Secretary of International Trade, who had brought with her a variety of zhoryan businessmen, representing the interests of the shipping magnates, the state oil company, and lesser representatives of other industries, and also, of course, Sarkis's own staff, led by Pirman Vosough, nepehw to the current Premier. The meeting was preceded by the usual meeting with the local embassy staff, followed by the usual representatives of the local zhoryan community, though, it seemed, that even here the Zhoryan government could not be rid of the accosting of oppositionists, as the Sarkis and his comitive were met by a small group protesting the ongoing struggle of the urodoah peoples in Mazagan.

    When the zhoryan comitive finally arrived at the royal palace for the meeting Sarkis led the way. He took an adorned letter in his hands as he climbed up the hill to meet his counterpart, and after the customary greetings and shaking of hands he gave the letter to Michel Laurent - " Enclosed in this envelope is a poem written by his Soverign Majesty himself, an expression of his, and our national sorrow. I ask that you deliver it to her Royal Highness, Queen Marie-Charlotte, as it was personally adressed to her. " - he understood that such a gesture was perhaps old-fashioned, if not strange, so he advanced an explanation - " It is an old tradition for friends and family members to express their sorrow by the sharing of poems, adressed to the closest family of the deceased. " - the poem could be an original or not, and the adressed was usually the spouse, and while it couldn't be said that the nearly eighty year old Zadar and the teenager Marie-Charlotte were friends, it was supposed to be taken as a sign of good will and hope towards the building of a new friendship if not between monarchs, between peoples.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
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  3. Petites-Pays

    Petites-Pays Well-Known Member

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    Michel shook Monsieur Sarkis’ hand. “Thank you so much for your generosity. I will deliver this letter to her personally.” He felt the Zhoryans were a slightly different type of culture, but immensely polite and he respected that. He gave the letter to an aide of his who set it down on a silver dish near the table for safe keeping.

    Inviting his guests to take a seat in the open air temple which overlooked the gardens they were all offered sparkling water, wine, and the finest Low Gallian cheese platter. He was not sure if they would appreciate the Gallian sampler and he was not sure if they’d enjoy the alcohol due to the possibility of Islamic faith among his guests. Either way, he would press on the only way he knew how: the Gallian way. He would do his best to imitate the politeness of his guests though. “I am most apologetic if our food and drink offerings do not well suit your faith. I have done my best to offer what my country has to offer, while trying not to be off complete offense.”

    He cleared his throat and continued. “I have brought you here to observe the natural beauty of our Low Gallian gardens, but also to represent something for the future. You see there is a pond over there and as a youth we often have the desire to skip stones along the water. Perhaps a boy may just wish to show his strength and skip as many as times as possible, but it requires both a good stone and a great deal of finesse to skip a stone many times. Skill rather than brute strength, which is why a young girl may often best a grown man at this task. A skilled person may create a great design on the water as the many ripples spread across a pond. Our first meeting here I believe is the first bounce of the stone to touch the water. It is my hope our design can be just as beautiful as a young girl may skip such a stone.” His introduction in a form of succinct parable he hoped would be understandable as to the goals of the Smallanders. He wanted to make sure he caught their attention, but also to ensure that this was a relationship he hoped would continue forward.

    “It is my belief that we have many opportunities before us. I have many areas of concern that I believe we may find helpful for each other. As such, I hope to soon make my own proposals on economics, culture, and even discussing the basis for the beginnings of joint defense. Yet, I first would like to hear what you all wish to gain from this meeting.”
     
  4. Zhola

    Zhola Member

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    " We appreciate your willingness to accomodate our own peculliar palate, but you'll find that most of us here are more than willing to appreciate a good wine, though I must admit, I'm not greatest appreciator of cheese. " - Sarkis let out a polite, short and almost sillent laugh - " But I'm sure they would be quite enjoyable otherwise. Thank you for your kindness. " - Most members of the zhoyran comitive weren't followers of the islamic faith, Sarkis himself was irreligious, while most other members of the diplomatic mission he led were either followers of caernism or equally irreligious, and thus were not beholden any rule about drinking alcohol. The lone muslim member of the comitive, a business representative, was otherwise enjoying the other assortments of gallic appetizers their hosts had to offer and who, being accustomed to live in a country that was hostile to the idea of what different and disparing religions could mean, he was desensitized to any offense that their host's costumes could cause to his religious beliefs.

    Sarkis appreciated Laurent's words, he was a man who appreciated metaphors, perhaps something common to all zhoryans. Perhaps if he was a young boy he would feel compelled to grab a stone and throw it at the lake, which would simply sink once it reached the water. " Perhaps, in due time, the stone can reach the other side of the pond in due time. " - he added, and further answered Laurent's question - " I am at liberty to say that I have been given considerable leeway in what I can discuss, present and affirm that the zhoryan goverment will stand by any agreement. "

    He paused, trying to ascertain what those present would hope he would say next. " Our principal goal here is to lay the foundations of future agreements, the first time a skipping stone would touch the water. " - he hoped he would not appear too blunt, but he believed bluntness was also what the gallics wanted in this case - " For a first agreement we would look forward to discuss matters of trade and economic cooperation, granting special status for goods from our two countries, and seeking the technical expertise that in some areas we suffer from. Afterall, history has thought us that good trade relations are a stepping, if not skipping stone, towards good diplomatic relations. " - his appropriation of Laurent's earlier words amused him, but perhaps this was either too jovial or too corny for the meeting - " But we are of course willing to discuss a more ambitious future for both our countries, if that is what your government, Mr Laurent, so wishes. "
     

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