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A Little Irredentism Between Friends (Closed, WA)

Where nations come together and discuss matters of varying degrees of importance. [In character]
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Kartlis
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A Little Irredentism Between Friends (Closed, WA)

Postby Kartlis » Thu May 10, 2018 12:26 pm

Citadel Excalbia, Excalbia

It was the day after the reception honoring the Excalbian Emperor's birthday, and the royal members of the Kartlian delegation were, in typical royal fashion, engaged in a fashionably late royal breakfast. The Kartlian Foreign Minister, Alexei Japaridze, had state business to attend to, however, and was on his way with an aide-de-camp to meet with representatives from the Fiefdom of Anahuac.

The issue on the agenda was the question of the Snefaldian border. Both states bordered the larger nation, and both states had long-simmering border disputes with them, mostly in the mountainous regions where few people lived, but "a border is still a border" as the Kartlian Prime Minister had said before Japaridze departed. Elections were approaching in Kartlis, and ever since 2015 the Snefaldians had become more bold about sparking incidents along their disputed area; they would move rock boundaries further into Kartlis by mere inches at night, or accuse the Kartlians of throwing rocks at their outposts, and in 2016 had even sent a detachment of border guards into the disputed space to dismantle a Kartlian guard shack they said was a violation of Snefaldian sovereignty.

Prime Minister Mikeladze wanted to approach the Fiefdom and coordinate a response for the simple reason that it was smarter to have an ally against a much larger bully than to fight alone, and the prospect of high-level diplomatic representatives being present in Excalbia was too great an opportunity to pass up to do just that. That was part of why Japaridze had been chosen to go as representative of the government instead of the more traditional choice of one of the more ceremonial Great Officers of State.

Japaridze had toyed with the idea of doing something cloak and dagger, making a surreptitious restaurant reservation rather than meeting in one of the embassies, in a kind of vain attempt to avoid letting the Snefaldians find out the two parties were meeting; he was not stupid enough to think he wouldn't be watched by Snefaldian intelligence working in Excalbia. His suggestion had been the Kartlian Embassy, and a light lunch of cheeses, breads, and fresh fruit had been laid out on the mahogany conference table used for staff meetings; the full-size official portrait of Prince Teimuraz gazed down serenely from the head of the table on whoever sat on it.

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Uncle Noel
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Postby Uncle Noel » Thu May 10, 2018 1:56 pm

Unfashionable though it might be to admit it, relations between Snefaldia and Anahuac could well be considered an “historical enmity.” So ingrained was this attitude that even the old men of the Politburo could not remember a time when the border between their countries had been opened. The primary diplomatic contact between the two took place on remote glaciers, as military patrols scoured the land for stray cigarette butts or a misplaced ration packs that could be held up as evidence that the sacred borders of the country had been defiled by the naked aggression of the other side. In some remote mountain valleys the only inhabitants were the soldiers who manned the machine gun posts that were now an integral part of the landscape. No, it was fair to say they didn’t get on.

Stohlfel Amal straightened his tie as he sat in the back of the Excalbian taxi. He could have taken a car from the embassy but that would have elicited more suspicions then they otherwise already had. “Is it so unheard of,” he had asked his wife that morning over breakfast, “For representatives of neighbouring countries to meet and have a polite, civilised conversation?” To which the answer was yes if those two countries had little in common and no history of much in the way of prior contact.

The taxi arrived and Amal paid him in the “monopoly money” that the Excalbians used as currency. He briefly looked about the road, which he knew was entirely pointless because it’s not as though the Snefaldians employed men with holes cut in their newspapers, before making his way inside.

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Kartlis
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Postby Kartlis » Fri May 11, 2018 9:54 am

"Commissar Amal, welcome," Foreign Minister Japaridze said, extending his hand. "This is my personal secretary, Grigol Abashidze. Refreshments?"

Sitting at the long table, Japaridze steepled his finger over several open dossiers. "I want to thank you for meeting with me. We wanted to take the opportunity presented by the Emperor's birthday to speak informally on a high-level, rather than through normal channels. Kartlian border defense has noted an uptick of Snefaldian, ah, "incursions," shall we say, on the western mountain borders. You may be aware that the exact border is a matter of long-running dispute. Although few people live in that mountainous area, it is still an area of contention."

Abashidze cleared his throat. "Over the past five years, the Snefaldians have engaged in more provocative actions over the border than in the previous twenty. We understand that the Fiefdom also has a long-running concern regarding Snefaldian claims on your borders. I will not term it a border dispute, though, because that would imply the Snefaldians have a legitimate claim on Anahuac territory."

Japaridze nodded, stroking his beard. "Indeed. We wanted to first understand the Fiefdom's current experience with Snefaldian interference on your borders, understand more clearly the Fiefdom's perspective on this interference, and possibly construct a unified response to the States-Federation. We feel that it would be helpful for both sides if we were to present a combined approach, which could go some way in reducing the level of Snefaldian action and preventing further disputes."

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Uncle Noel
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Postby Uncle Noel » Fri May 11, 2018 2:19 pm

Amal sipped his coffee as the Foreign Minister spoke, pausing only to nod at key points. "There has, sir, been a concern in my government over the recent increase in Snefaldian provocations in the Mallen areas. The current, criminal government of the States-Federation obviously cannot rely on any form of legitimacy, either through democracy or a revolutionary vanguard, so like any protection racket it seeks to hide weakness at home by extruding strength abroad."

The Chairman put down his cup and adjusted his glasses. "Our mutual neighbour clearly believes that his strength is the measure of any challenge, for he has made no attempt to divide up his adversaries; indeed he has provoked quite the opposite. The reason, sir, why I am here in Excalbia is because of the recent treaty between our two countries which was, from our perspective, designed primarily as a counter to any potential Snefaldian aggression. And here we sit, sir, discussing the same point, it seems obvious that our neighbour either is intent on provocation only, or lacks the diplomatic wherewithal to prevent its "enemies" from coalescin;, in which case it is a paper tiger in both instances."

Amal looked serious for a moment. "That said, just because I do not think that Snefaldia wishes to point either of us to the point of armed conflict, there is always a risk of miscalculation. You ask, sir, about our border? It is closed and guarded, and whilst I can think of more productive things to do with a significant proportion of our armed forces than patrol empty mountain passes, we have to maintain the guard because...well we have a saying in my country that if you give a duim they will take a mijl. I understand that certain boundary markers have been moved along your border, for example."
Last edited by Uncle Noel on Sun May 13, 2018 7:25 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Kartlis
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Founded: Jul 28, 2017
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Postby Kartlis » Sat May 12, 2018 5:58 am

Japaridze nodded, glancing at his dossier. "That is correct, and although that action was in a remote are and a only on a limited stretch of the border, it was a worrying provocation that we resolved by doubling the number of border patrols at other sites. That is not a long-term solution, however."

"Actually, sir," Abashidze interjected, "We suspect that the Snefaldian actions are just as you say, not calculated efforts to spark a conflict but a means of stress-testing the responses of the Kartlian, Anahuacan, and possibly even Kasakian governments; we haven't spoken with them because we aren't aware of any overt similar actions but I would not be surprised if they existed."

The two men both paused and whispered to each other in Kartlian briefly before continuing. Japaridze cleared his throat.

"To continue along that point, we would like to suggest that because Snefaldia has no long-standing irredentist claims on Kartlian territory, the ultimate goal of their actions are to cause enough doubt about their neighboring borders so as to ultimately spark an action against the Fiefdom, as we understand the Snefaldians believe certain Anahuacan territories to be historically part of the Snefaldian state. This analysis could be flawed, however."

"To that end, we have an initial suggestion: we would like to invited representatives from the Fiefdom's border details to "tour" some sites along our Snefaldian border and make a show of exchanging notes on effective border control in mountainous areas, being mountainous countries as we both are. We can be very heavy on the public relations, the usual military exchange of hats and so on and so forth. We should also like to send a detachment of our own to your own border with Snefaldia to do the same."

Abashidze again interjected. "The key to this initial action is to make use of the media throughout the entire region to show the other great powers that we are cooperating, and to demonstrate to the Snefaldians that we are convincingly working together."

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Uncle Noel
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Postby Uncle Noel » Sun May 13, 2018 7:41 am

Amal nodded. “I am certainly in agreement with such a proposal and the propagandic effect that it should have. As for your analysis that Snefaldia wishes to test all our resolves before she seeks to extend her illegal occupation of Anahuacan territory..” the chairman shrugged, “Perhaps. I would like to think that our adversary is not so bold as to provoke a wider conflict but then again I am reminded, sir, of the actions of Imperial Germany who having tried and failed to split the alliance arranged against it came instead to the alternative conclusion that it could vanquish its enemies with rapid deployment.”

Amal leaned forward and picked up his cup of coffee. “They were, of course, unsuccessful,” he took a sip, “But that did not prevent the mass casualties that resulted from that mistaken assumption.”

He leaned back. “If we are able to convince our adversary that we are a united front then it may dissuade him from the folly of thinking a quick war would better achieve his goals. A public display of our resolve would therefore be very, very useful.”

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Kartlis
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Founded: Jul 28, 2017
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Postby Kartlis » Tue May 15, 2018 5:32 pm

Japaridze spread his hands before him, palms-down on the table. "A display of resolve. To that end, let us start with ambassadors: the Fiefdom's ambassador to Kartlis is invited to take a public relations tour of the southern mountains near the city of Sighnaighi, and on that trip we will be sure to place a media team at his survey of the Kartlian-Snefaldian border. We should like to have some public remarks on "learning from each other on border security" and the importance of mutual respect, and all that lot. We can then follow up with a similar trip later."

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Uncle Noel
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Postby Uncle Noel » Mon May 21, 2018 1:33 pm

The Chairman nodded. "I am in agreement with these propositions." He rose from his chair and extended his hand. "I will return to my capital and make the necessary arrangements. I thank you, gentlemen, for a most..er...stimulating discussion."

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Kartlis
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Founded: Jul 28, 2017
Ex-Nation

Postby Kartlis » Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:11 pm

Lentekhi, Lentekhi District, Lechkumi Province, Kartlis

The town of Lentekhi itself is charming, with all the markers of a delightful holiday sport: alpine sports, 10th century churches, soaring mountain vistas, and delicious local foods. The tourist industry had been a lifeline for the town until a few years ago, when Snefaldian border provocations had made the Kartlian government nervous and resulted in the implementation of a system of registration and internal visas for any visitors to the town, which was only a dozen or so kilometers from the Snefaldian Bianili region and a military base.

Those restrictions, aimed at preventing spying and Fifth Column action, had made it so onerous to actually visit the town, to say nothing of going mountain climbing, that within two years tourist revenues had fallen off by 30%. This had not endeared Prime Minister Mikeladze's National Democratic Party to the people in the region. The party was massacred at the local polls in the next election, and the local Party Representative's office and house were regularly defaced with paint.

There had been curiosity at first when military activity started to pick up in the first few months; teams of investigators surveying the area for an "important dignitary" had been nosing around the hotels and manor houses of the local magnates, asking vague questions of the townsfolk about their habits and schedules. Very quickly, the rumour got out that a top politician would likely be visiting the town, and someone even went so far as to say they had heard, from their sister's cousin's nephew's co-worker who cleans floors in Mtskheta - you know the one, with the limp and the long hair who never did anything with his life but now he's picking up after the rich and powerful, and a man hears things, never could stop eavesdropping, but he was a good churchgoing boy anyway, and did you hear about the bicycle they bought? - that the National Democrats were thinking about dropping the permit restrictions.

When the army and foreign ministry started to show up that was all it took to convince the townspeople their prayers were going to be answered, and within a week or two before the "special visit by a VIP" for whom a suit of rooms had been taken at the Royal Hotel and a meal prepared at the house of the local aznauri Count, the one who had been a feudatory of the Duke of Ksani, back in the old days, the entirety of Lentekhi was festooned in Kartlian flags and enough bunting to swamp a battleship.

Even the Mayor, a pudgy man with ruddy cheeks and a black beard, didn't realize the town was completely wrong until he had the secret, finalized schedule in his hands a few hours before Foreign Minister Japaridze, Defense Minister Rouben Melkadze, and General Pridoni Machabeli arrived, with an array of camera crews, photographers, and armed soldiers, with a representative from the People's Fiefdom of Anahuac as the guest of honor, preparing for a special tour of the border with Snefaldia, starting with the army depot and border installations up in the mountains to the south.

The ripple of discontent was palpable, but with a small army of actual soldiers and an even smaller army of intelligence officials present, the typical sort of small-town justice rural Kartlis could be known for would have to wait. Frustrated, they took it out on each other in bedrooms and barrooms, and some local headmen and women mysteriously became "unavailable" to meet the party. The local Bishop suddenly had a violent resurgence of his old gastric complaints and was indisposed. "Something has sickened me," he had said, a little biliously.

That meant it was only Count Vasil Khomeriki and Mayor Bagrat Chikovani who would be be entertaining the Foreign Minister, Defense Minister, the General, and probably the only communist Lentekhi had seen in over a century at the Royal Hotel.
Last edited by Kartlis on Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.


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