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The [Southern] Gallian Summit [Attn: Madurja, Remuria]

Auraria

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It came with great regret that the logistics for the arrival of the Maduran Consul and Remurian Grand Duchess were alerted so substantially. Arturo Villavicencio International Airport was located far from the center of the Aurarian Capital, necessitated by the ancient city’s surge into modernity. A series of not so aesthetic highways connected it with the Avenida da la República which would take you directly into the center of the city which is where the grandeur of it was situated. The National Court, which occupied the original palace of the Aurarian Emperors was separated from Marisela Palace by a large park that the Avenida enclosed. Every aspect of the city planning was designed to show off its prestige.

The Aurarian Foreign Ministry, much to the disdain of the people of Solis, gleefully would close down these vital routes in order to show off the opulence of Solis. Unfortunately, these streets and courtyards which defined the city’s beauty were now filled with angry protestors who all had their own opinions on Auraria’s foreign policy and the allegedly looming economic crisis. The Ministry decided that such imagery did not set the tone they wanted, so helicopters were arranged to take the delegations from the Airport to the courtyard of Marisela Palace, a courtyard nicely insulated from the outside.

It was common during the revolution for the grand palaces of the nobility to be ransacked and converted into “Temples of the People.” Most famous among these examples are the National Court’s decision to usurp the Royal Palace in Solis and transform it into their meeting space. Despite the building’s grandeur, it quickly became evident that a Royal Palace wasn’t exactly fit to serve as the meeting place of a national legislature so in 1850 a massive atrium was built on the backside of the building to house the actual floor. The atrium, from above, was an odd addition – but thankfully you rarely see the back of the building.

Marisela Palace, the residence and official working place of the President of the Republic, was different. This building was constructed in 1893 and exemplified the power of the Republic during the height of the “Second Aurarian Empire.” Stylizing itself in the Old Republic’s fascination with Tiburan and Pelasgian culture/architecture, the building is a mix of recognizable styles.

It’s defining feature is “La Promesa” three statues that sit on top the Palace. The left statue is a woman guiding Pegasus with imagery of agriculture. The right statue is another woman guiding another Pegasus, but with imagery of industry. In the center is the Allegory of the Republic, which symbolizes peace and prosperity.

The Palace itself was abuzz with activity, preparing the State Room for the Dinner Aruraria was hosting for the Madurans and Remurians. Nothing but the finest would be served and no expense would be spared – despite the cratering stock market. Before the dinner and festivities, President Ordenes would be meeting with the Maduran Consul and the Remurian Grand Duchess to discuss matters of state.

The Press had jumped on the opportunity to call it “The Gallian Summit, part three” or “The Third-Times-The-Charm Summit” or “The Southern Gallian Summit” in mockery of the President’s repeated failures to obtain meaningful progress in these summits. In spite of past failures, Ordenes remained optimistic of his chances here. He sat in his private office going through the final briefings the Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided. He would be summoned to the Main Gates to personally welcome the Remurians and Madurans as soon as they were to arrive.

@Madurja @Remuria
 

Remuria

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Remurians were quite confusing to the outsiders, and in no small part this was thanks to the Aurarians. The Res Publica for centuries was a de facto elective monarchy, where the Grand Duke ruled for life. Yet, in the aftermath of the Aurarian Revolution, it's echoes were felt in Remuria where, with some zealous support from Aurarian Revolutionaries, the elections were changed to five year terms and opened to women. Effectively making Grand Dukes into Presidents, but keeping the title in place. The historic moment to completely overhaul the system having been wasted, this stuck for the past two hundred years. Hence why often the Remurians used the title Magnus Dux to differentiate from Grand Duke, even if it was just a classic Tiburan appelation of the same.

Magna Ducessa Anastasia di Scopelliti was not the first woman to hold the post, but she was the first woman not affiliated with any political party to hold the job and to hold it quite efficiently. She was relatively young for the job, getting the post at 34 and now turning 39 as the renewal process loomed ahead of her. With a very thrilling life behind her, combining economic education with service with the Air Force as a fighter pilot, she was rather good in all fields, but unlike some world leaders that were clear geniuses in every field, she could not alone excel in every single aspect of state governance. So she surrounded herself with very knowledgeable and skilled advisors, some with grey hair and years of politics behind them, others young and dynamic to shift the ongoing paradigms. The Remurian political system necessitated quite clever navigating among the interests of the Res Public and the constituent Nations, after all, a task that could hardly be sucessfully accomplished by a single woman or man.

Accompanying the Grand Duchess was her trusted Foreign Affairs Director, Vittorio Flangini, who lately had a difficult task of navigating the boat that was Remuria between the Scylla and Charybdis of European politics. As well as an assortment of economic and political advisors.

As for the summit, the speed with which it was organised and the preliminary agenda indicated that he Aurarians were eager to share new initiatives and ideas, and the Remurians were curious to listen what they had to say. And given the presence of the Madurjans, this was even more interesting.

On the Remurian side, the agenda was key to place as well their own ideas on a new transportation link from the Thaumantic ocean and back into Remuria to somewhat decrease the overdependence on the Long Sea ports alone. Of course, there were risks, given the rising hostilities between the Organisation of Democratic States and the Rurikgrad Pact, and there were some sceptics that said that in a couple years the link would be communistified by the new red power in Solis, pleasantly installed there by Ivar. But more realistic types considered other options on the table as well, even in case of a full blown conflict between the Organisation of Democratic States and the Rurikgrad Pact, there were always options to secure investments. And, despite the mounting tensions, bullets were not yet flying. Regardless, such concerns were a matter for another day, first the buy in from Aurarians and Madurjans would be required.
 

Madurja

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Consul Teixeira was unsure what she would be walking into. The new Consul was for many, a breath of fresh air. For others, a right-wing firebrand. Her domestic wife appearance blended with her uncompromising gaze that left many who crossed her feeling uncomforatble. It was Madurja's goal to remain focused on the economy. Yet political elites still steered much of the agenda- as if moving pieces on a board. Foreign policy must be carefully approached. However, Madurans felt no ill will towards the nations represented today. Madurja's Long Sea position ensured that she got due credit for her voice- not to mention the natural gas exports and willingness to work with any ideology to a point.

Chief among the Consul's concerns were the state of the regional economic health. She had spent the brief plane flight reading the most recent reports and material as well as Maduran numbers. Just when things began to improve in Madurja, their neighbors had seen their stock market plunge. It was not a comfortable scene to witness. Already the booming tourism industry was beginning to show signs of depreciation. The growth of communism was also deeply concerning. As Madurja was both religious and conservative, it would have a target on her back. Teixeira's term had thus far been marked with tremendous success. Economic growth. Stiffening of national security policies. Wooing jobs to Madurja. For Teixeira, there would be much political capital to gain before the upcoming election. The questions were- which routes would have the highest payout? Which avenues would not drive away the offered handshake of the political elite?
 

Auraria

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The Meeting was to take place in the State Room, which used to serve as a more prestigious reception room for the Kings and Queens of House Calderón. It was adorned with the same style of Baroque imagery that had defined the wealth and power of the former Empire. On its ceiling was engraved a famous mural showing a map of Gallia with trade ships leaving from Coronado and Tauritania, dotted lines representing the trade routes of the Aurarian Empire. The room itself was circular with large windows spreading all around, stained to obscure an outsider’s view. Dark purple curtains with gold trim hung on each window – with the flags of Remuria, Madurja, and Auraria lining the wall going the full length of the room. At the center was a round, mahogany table with chairs that had engraved name plates for each delegate present.

After the typical greetings and press availability for photo ops, only the core staff of the delegations were permitted entry into the State Room. Once the doors were sealed, they all took their seats and President Ordenes rose to speak.

“Grand Duchess di Scopelliti, Minister Flangini – Consul Teixeira, allow me to welcome you to Auraria,” the President smiled “It is humbling to me that after all the events that have transpired that the three of us were able to gather so quickly to discuss issues of what I am confident are of critical importance to us all. To that end, these doors are sealed and this conversation doesn’t leave this room. We’re hear today not for politics, but for business. Allow me to pledge Auraria’s commitment to promoting honest conversation between the sister republics.”

The President sat down in his seat, you could see his leg wobble as he moved to sit down, an embarrassing display of his advanced age.

“Before all of that is to begin, Consul Teixeira – I congratulate you on your election. This is our first-time meeting in person. I hope your introduction into the business of leading a state was more pleasant than it was for me,” he laughed “I’ve lived my entire life in this city. Words can barely express what a privilege it would be if all the politics could leave it.”

“Now, I asked you both to come to Auraria with such haste because in a very short period of time, the geopolitical situation of this continent has rapidly shifted. Once again, the streets rumble with rumors of violence and bloodshed. The situation in Crotobaltislavonia is only another expansion of Ivar’s strength. I remember it not long ago that Marisela Palace discussed the consequences of Milesia, Calidia, Trivodnia, and the People’s Burgundian Republic. This is all even before the business with the Grand Duchy of Furlanie further expanding Ivar’s power and reach.”

“Once again the idea of Gallian Unity becomes even more strained,” the President sighed “I ran on a pledge to bring this continent together. To end centuries of fragmentation and conflict. Perhaps it was my own naivety, to underplay the sincerity and the strength of these borders. Nevertheless, I remain committed to the goals of unity and I’ll do what I can to leave this world a better place than I found it.”

“It is in that spirit that I called this meeting. As I stated, the geopolitics of this continent have changed drastically. While I admit that more of my days are now taken discussing matters of the military than a few months ago I want to speak to the three of you clearly and unequivocally: I have always been, I am now, and I forever will be committed above all else to maintain the peace and security of Gallia.”

He paused for a moment for truly what only amounted to dramatic effect.

“Whatever comes of this new Treaty of Spesse remains to be seen but the nations of the Organization of Democratic States are not daft. We know the obligations of the ODS extend only to that of mutual defense. If armed conflict is to erupt, it will not be Etruria, Eiffelland-Retalia, nor Auraria who fires the first shot.”

“Now, I am not here to speak on behalf of the ODS nor it is my interest to pitch its benefits, I will answer whatever questions any of you may have but such decisions are your own sovereign right. The intention of calling this meeting is, instead, to help build Gallian unity by working at alleviating the things that make us so different. I have proposals for that, which I believe we can all discuss, but before I do that – I want to provide you all with the opportunity to ask me whatever it is you may want to know on my country’s stances on what is happening in the continent, its interactions with ODS, or whatever else your countries would like to know.”

“A healthy, positive relationship must start with transparency – allow me to take the first step.”
 

Remuria

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The Remurians listened carefully to the hosts, nodding in agreement here, arching an eyebrow in surprise there, but overall, they did not interrupt the host during the introduction.

"I believe, Your Excellency, myself and Vittorio do not have any questions on your current interactions with the ODS or beyond, as this is quite transparent as is," the Magna Ducessa intervened once the host yielded the floor. "I believe the real question will instead lead us straight into the subject of the agenda, and this is to hear your plan on ensuring Gallian unity. We do not think that Gallia is really that disunited and in between our three sister republics, relations are on a cordial level. That the Grand Duchy of Furlanie chose a different route is entirely within the power of Grau, this is their responsibility and their path to walk. We have received assurances from the Grand Duchy that the Island of Savalonut shall not play host to a foreign military and therefore shall not endanger Remuria."

"Of course, the continued evolution of the situation in Pelasgia is worthy of attention, as we need to see how it resolves. The Commonwealth will of course support responsible, democratic government in the Empire, yet such should come through a peaceful process and not violence."

"But I believe that right now we are here representing our three Republics and we are here to discuss steps forward between the three of us. We will further down the road have proposals and plans for an infrastructural development that may include both Auraria and Madurja, to allow Remuria a diversified access to the Thaumantic Ocean, rather than rely solely on the Long Sea ports."
 
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Madurja

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Teixeira responded to the congratulations with only a curt nod. Her eyes flickered around the room, taking in details. She wondered exactly where the discussions would lead. She shook her head at the mention of conflict. Madurja, though well defended, would not survive a serious war. It was only the ability to remain neutral that served the Unified Republic.

"It seems to me that second to Kadikistan itself, alliances are the single greatest contributor to the threat of peace. If a war is to take place, Madurja will have no part. Our duty is to our people and to ensuring freedom of passage through the Long Sea" she began, pausing. "At least at the Western entrance to the Long Sea. The Unified Republic is a young state- even if Madurja is old. We are pleased to work with nations on infrastructure or economic ties. Our nation has been transparent since the birth of the Republic. We hope this transparency will be valued as we discuss Gallian unity. My nation wants a peaceful and bright future. Only when nations work together for those goals for its own people can peace and prosperity be achieved" said Teixeira coldly.

She shifted uncomfortably in her seat. "There is no central reason to not believe that this Pelasgia situation will not spiral out of control. We have little faith in the Pelasgians to resolve things diplomatically. Yet, we may be wrong. We must monitor this extremely closely and use whatever resources available to get information. I will not see Maduran economic progress be blindsided by an unforeseen war" said Teixeira.
 

Auraria

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“Yes, Madam Consul,” Ordenes nodded “It is unfortunate that unforeseen wars tend to be so difficult to predict. Nevertheless, it is difficult to deny the problematic nature of the alliances the world is building.” The President took a sip of water, and turned a few pages in the briefing materials he was provided.

“Thank you,” he turned to the Magna Ducessa “The assurance of Savalonut not to host foreign military equipment is genuinely good. Unfortunately, you must understand my trepidation. The Grand Duchy informed the ODS that it intended to meet with Kadikistan in order to ensure their agreement to the terms that were negotiated with the ODS. Instead, Grau emerged waving a new military alliance between itself, Kadikistan, and Pelasgia. It was quite unforeseen. Perhaps not as unforeseen as the Pelasgian Emperor’s refusal to sign it and the subsequent mess that the Long Sea’s greatest naval power now sees itself in.”

The President paused for a moment, even he was baffled by how quickly the planet’s balance of power was shattered. Repeating it aloud was quite jarring.

“I agree that the situation in Pelasgia will spiral, quickly. This will be a detriment to the planet’s global supply chains. If the situation continues on the trajectory it is on, it will likely become necessary for naval assets to move into the area to ensure the Long Sea’s continued protection.”

His ears already rang. Never did anything positive come from a discussion of naval assets in the Long Sea, nevertheless it was either this or a massive DDI fleet which seemed far from ideal given the current circumstances.

“We could, I should imagine, be able to discuss the situation of the Long Sea and Pelasgia for a lifetime, but I would like to discuss the situation affecting Remuria, Madurja, and Auraria respectively. The three of us agree that the primary goal is peace and I often find that the best way to guarantee peace is to bind our countries economically. First, though, I think it would benefit us all if our Republics signed a non-aggression treaty. Such a thing has, by default, been in place for a while but I see a great strength in putting pen to paper on it. Secondly, I agree with the Grand Duchess’ proposal that our countries should work on enhancing infrastructure projects between our three countries. Increasing the ease of commerce between the thing of us will undoubtedly be a positive in the future.”
 

Remuria

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What was it with everybody around asking for non-aggresion treaties between neighbours that haven't gone to war with each other in a hundred years? Well, granted, the Aurarian revolutionaries did roll over the border to support boiling Remurian revolutionaries in 1825, but that wasn't really an international conflict per se and everyone stayed within their borders. Non-aggression pacts were as devoid of matter and substance as they were self-evident simply through centuries of peaceful co-existence. Yet, maybe because everything was changing so fast that some nations wished to have some reassurances.

"The Commonwealth would not really see a problem with rekindling in a formal manner our refusal of armed aggression towards our countries that has been in place for generations," Magna Ducessa Anastasia nodded. "Even if, I shall admit, that we personally see them as somewhat redundant. However, I have to forewarn you that such a formal treaty would require a regular approval through the Serene Assembly Broad and Wide. So we can start the process and then pass it through our formal ratification processes in our own democratic and constitutional systems."

"And concerning the economic side," Vittorio Flangini, the Foreign Affairs Director stepped into the discussion, "We would like to provide the first drafts of a project our specialists have been working on, something that would of course favour Remuria, but also her neighbours. We understand that Auraria does not have a proper commercial port on the Thaumantic Ocean. On our side, we do not even have access to the Thaumantic ocean per se, and we would love to diversify our trade routes and, thus, expand trade. So we propose to improve on this."

"Specifically," he continued, "Remuria would invest in the construction of a deepwater port and the construction of a freight rail link from this port and into Remuria. Remurian commercial interests control the port and the business model has a return on investment from port fees and assorted services fees. Yet again, and we reiterate, commercial ownership. We do not seek sovereignty, we do not seek political control, but commercial. Plus an agreement on customs-free transit of goods through Auraria for goods destined for the Remurian market, the usual procedure in sealed containers and the assorted intricacies."

"We can further link this preliminarily dubbed Western Transport Corridor into Madurja and your own ports," Vittorio inclined his head in a respectful nod to the Consul of Madurja. "And, thus, further diversify our economic exchanges and access to additional ports."

"As a final note, and this is also in a preliminary stage and will need to be discussed with the Federal Kingdom of Etruria and the Union State of Eiffeland-Retalia," the Remurian Foreign Affairs Director continued, "is a Trans-Retalian Transport Corridor. Something that Remuria alone cannot really pull off, but I believe we all as neighbours can. That will be an engineering feat of grand magnitude, but would create a rail or even maybe road, to be seen in further engineering studies, link across the Retalian Sea. As well as oil and gas pipelines to support Remurian and Madurjan exports into Eiffeland-Retalia and Etruria. This would allow goods to transit faster, would help Remuria trade even more extensively with our neighbours, allow Auraria customs-free transit through Remuria within your Common Market. And would complement and allow to expand the existing sea routes across the Retalian Sea. Additional benefits for Madurja as well with more exposure to the neighbouring markets. It will be expensive, but it will be quite a boon for future generations."


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Madurja

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Teixeira's eyes narrowed. Such a transport link would certainly cut the shipping revenues that came through Madurja. Already, Madurja maintained impressive rail links with Auraria. But, the Consul had no such substance with it to object. She leaned back in her chair slightly, considering the options. On one hand, the port of Santo Estevao would remain a key Long Sea port and Cartaxo would remain a shipping and economic hub. On the other hand, such a transport corridor would see a decrease in jobs and income. She let out a sigh. "I cannot object to this in theory. Madurja's We have no objection to the Trans-Retalian idea. I would ask that such a project not be announced for a month" she said, shrugging. "I require this time to woo those in Maduran politics that may be critical" she said, thinking of several Camara members who might protest. "I realize Madurja is not directly a piece of this plan. However, I would ask for some friendly assistance in this matter" Teixeira concluded.

She looked down at the table and was quiet for a moment, holding a finger in the air. "As for Long Sea security, Madurja has increased her patrols near shipping lanes and in general. Now, I want to be clear that Madurja has no interest in a conflict. We merely are maintaining our obligation as custodians of the entrance to the western Long Sea. We are completely against any serious military action unless it is in the face of defense"the Consul said, making a slight sweeping gesture with her hand. "We are happy to sign a non-aggression agreement. Though, I can assure you that Madurja has no interest in invading either of you" she said with a chuckle. "What I am concerned with is the suggestion of some kind of economic binding. What would this entail?" she asked, coldly.
 
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