Montague Summit (Inquista-Montenbourg)


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    "Ah, most interesting," Craticus said as he smiled and nodded. "With this ever increasingly globalized and interconnected world, people of all different faiths have come to walk together in our cities. Despite differences in faith, it is important that we not only walk together, but that we walk together in peace - together as friends and family - with our hands held together, rejoicing in life and the many blessings put upon us. We not only share these blessings together, but share these same burdens, and sometimes these burdens can result in conflict. That is why we must maintain interfaith dialogue now more than ever. Even just small discussions, such as that we are having now, helps to bridge gaps in understanding and in fostering companionship as the Lord's children."

    Craticus continued to smile as he gave Cunard as sideways look. Cunard smiled in return and nodded.

    "Well, we must thank you, Your Highnesses King Lawrence and Queen Grace, for pleasing us with an audience, and for your most generous gift. As I said, we will place your gift in our Golden Hall, and hopefully one day you will be able to see it in its new home. We wish you the best as we part to see your Prime Minister to discuss further matters of state."

    "Thank you very much," Cunard also chimed, "You have both been kind with your time and your beautiful home. We shall no doubt return the favour one day. Please send our regards to your children and your grandchildren. Give a special greeting to your granddaughter, the Princess Diane, who we understand was christened in April. That must have been a truly special time."

    Craticus and Cunard both quickly finished drinking their refreshments and got up to shake the hands of the monarchs. Once the departing pleasantries were exchanged, Craticus and Cunard departed the Bourgeon Palace. As they walked to the limousine, Craticus and Cunard were greeted with even more fanfare than before. Craticus and Cunard smiled and waved. An armed security guard had to tackle one gentleman that somehow managed to scale the promenade and onto palace walkway. The man seemed to be wearing a t-shirt that said 'Take Me Cratdaddy'. Cunard covered his mouth as the scene unfolded, but Craticus continued to smile and seemed to applaud as the man was tackled. The two made it back safely to their limousine and were taken to the next destination, where they would meet the Montenbourgian Prime Minister.




  • An excited press corps gathered at Lexington Street. The Limousine of the Archbishop touched down the entrance and they brought him to the hall amid the chaos of questions..

    The Prime Minister came from the office and followed a corridor that leads to the press room where the Archbishop was. Once the two leaders entered the hall all the indicators flashed and reporters constantly asking questions. The two leaders took their place in microphones and Prime Minister Bettel began ...

    "Ladies and gentlemen, members of the press,

    I would like to say that today I have the honor, privilege and pleasure to meet with the Archbishop, Paul Craticus. Let me inform you about the basic purpose of this very important meeting. Our country is interested as you know, make our country a central link in matters of human rights, the situation of dromund kass and free trade agreement as key to the betterment of Montenbourg. At the official level, however, I would like to emphasize the friendship between our two countries, but also the role played by both, the Northern area and the Mediterranean, a role of stability and cooperation between peoples at regional level in Europe."

    I hope we get our start for all those mentioned now, from this visit. It is important to thank His Excellency, who agreed to come to our country." Flashes started.

    Then he proceed to shake hands with the Archbishop.


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    Archbishop Craticus firmly shook the Prime Minister's hand and gave a smile and a wink to press who were photographing the scene. Archbishop Craticus normally liked to avoid the press as much possible, and he gained pleasure whenever he was able to snub them, but he figured he would pander to them at least while he was overseas. After the Prime Minister's words, Craticus proceeded to say nothing to the press, instead raising his hand and giving them a thumbs up. Standing behind his podium, Craticus then gave another smile and nod to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister then lead Craticus out of the hall to another room, where Cunard and other officials were already sitting down.


    "Thank you for seeing us today, Prime Minister," Craticus began. "I am in strong agreement with the words you uttered just seconds ago, and I look forward to working towards those goals this afternoon. We had the pleasure of speaking to your King and Queen earlier today, and I thoroughly enjoyed the productive discussions we had with them. Hopefully our discussions can be just as fruitful."

    Cunard them abruptly began the conversation. "How about we go straight to business, shall we?"

    "It's the Inquistan way." Craticus joked.

    "We have noticed that Montenbourg has used its free trade agreement with Omnibus as the starting point for other recent free trade negotiations. We hope to discuss one from scratch. Once we have finished making our points, we shall then propose a document," Cunard said as he lined up a series of different documents and papers on his lap.

    Before anyone else could say anything or agree, Craticus quickly began the converation. "Our countries have a great deal in common. Not only as democratic countries with similar views and values, but also with similar commitments to free trade. Both our countries stand to benefit greatly from free trade, especially with one another. The services sector accounts for almost 90% of Inquista economy, which is especially dominated by financial markets... markets which are looking to invest. I probably also need not remind you that Inquista is the largest economy in the European Union. So, in short, we have a lot of financial capital to invest. Foreign direct investment could greatly benefit Montenbourg's emerging economy. Likewise, Montenbourg is a vast country with many agricultural and material goods that Inquista simply lacks as a city-state, and your unique position as country that is still developing at an accelerating rate means a lot of  lucrative investment opportunities are available. Hence, both our countries compliment each other perfectly. We are looking for a bold an innovative agreement, and according to some of our calculations..." Craticus said then turning back to Cunard.

    "According to some of our calculations, we believe we could elimante up to 99.5% of tariffs between our countries." Cunard said rather proudly.

    "Exactly," Craticus continued. "We propose to eliminate all tariffs on Montenbourg's agricultural and food sectors, such as grains, livestock, fruits and vegetables. We also will eliminate all tariffs on energy, raw materials and processed materials, such as steel and aluminum. We will also eliminate tariffs on all manufactured goods, with the sole exception of motorized vehicles. Lastly, we propose the elimination of all tariffs on synthesized and chemicals goods, with the exception of pharmaceuticals. Essentially, we propose the elimination of all tariffs between our countries besides tariffs on motorized vehicles and pharmaceuticals. In return, we ask for exactly the same. Would this be satisfactory?"



  • The Prime Minister took the word and looked serious but open.

    "Well, first of all thank you for coming. You and I we both understand that the more our countries sell abroad, the more higher-paying jobs we support here at home. Saying this i find that we could settle on this elimination. And you may say, that well that's good, all settled; but I want to keep you with my vision I don't believe in protectionism."

    He breathed and drank some water

    "We propose a 45% elimination in tariffs on motorized gasoline vehicles and pharmaceuticals. And a 90% to non-gasoline vehicles. Saying this we want to ensure that our energy alternative enterprises have a better entering in the Inquistan market."

    He looked the Archbishop in his eyes

    "Now under this agreement Montenbourg wants this guarantees, an explicit ban on workplace discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation, a ban on any possibility of companies enforcing child and forced labor and a minimum of workplace safety standards set by your respective authorities. This will ensure that both of our small and minority business preference programs, as well as programs for distressed areas, transportation services, food assistance, and farm support are maintained. We both know that trade is an important issue for the economic growth of our countries, but Montenbourg is different we have'd failed to combat those things that don't advance our workforce and diminish our investors, that is the human component."

    He looked with open arms

    " Many free and open markets, have failed to look what makes them freer and open, that is where humanity is. Is not just simplify export rules for businesses, it's guaranteeing human freedom. Finally, one final point, and it's crucial by raising human standards on this agreements it's the key for fighting against oppression, injustice and radicalism."

    And then he added

    "In the end, we have to be mindful of the past, without ignoring the realities of the new economy. We've got to ensure agreements we enter let us harness the opportunities of trade on human reality terms. That means giving every working Inquistan and Montenbourgian what they deserve most: the chance to create, produce, and sell the world's best products and ideas. So is a deal."


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    Craticus nodded in agreement and took a second to ponder. "We agree to your terms on automobiles, but we won't accept any tariff reductions on pharmaceuticals - that's non-negotiable. We agree with your sentiments, and will happily include your social safety provisions. Inquista already has policies of zero-tolerance towards gender and sexual discrimination in the workplace, as well as the safety provisions that you have mentioned. Nevertheless, these social provisions are very important terms of trade and are vital to enshrine in a trade agreement. Similarly, we hope to to enshrine environmental protections as well.

    The first provision would be a ban on pollutants. Specifically, a ban on chloride pollutants such as chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons, as well as a ban on sulphur pollutants, such as sulfur hexafluoride. The second provision would be a ban on the dumping of all chemical and manufacturing byproducts in fresh and salt waters. The third provision would be a binding commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We hope you can agree to  reduce current 2018-levels of green house gas emissions by 12% by 2030 - a minimum of a 1% reduction of emissions per year. The fourth provision would be a binding commitment to increase 2018-levels of investment in green infrastructure technology by 100% by 2030."



  • Bettel agreed with a comment

    "Excellent, deal." He nodded.


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    "Great!" Cunard said, as he shuffled papers on his lap. "Before we move on to discussing humanitarian efforts and issues of security, we would like to discuss Inquistan faith schools. The Inquistan government, or rather, the Inquistan Orthodox Church, spends a sizable amount of its budgetary spending on foreign aid and investment. We would rather continue to spend on these matters than on military matters. At least, well, that has been the practice under recent leadership," Cunard said smirking, giving a cheeky look to the Archbishop.

    Craticus smiled. "It's true - I've tried to reshape the Inquistan Church to be more empathetic and compassionate, especially in foreign affairs. That includes investing in education. Maintaining Inqusitan Orthdox faith schools are especially important, and there are a fair number of them overseas, usually in Inquistan expat communities. Our faith schools follow the educational curriculum of whatever jurisdiction they are in, but have certain requirements, such as mandatory Latin courses, religious study courses, and bible study seminars. For comparison, I imagine Montenbourg has similar schools, whether they be Catholic or other types of private schools. In practice, Inquistan faith schools are much the same. If we are to have free trade between our nations, that means a commitment in allowing Inquista to have faith schools in your country and to have the ability to freely invest into them."



  • "Yes." Said the Prime Minister."His Majesty gave royal assent on this issue, but we also believe that this should be done under a Royal Concordat, a convention between the Kingdom of Montenbourg and a sovereign state that defines the relationship between the Church of Montenbourg and the state in matters that concern both, the recognition and privileges of the Montenbourg Church and other churches in a particular country and with secular matters that impact on church interests, such as the schools."

    He then continued.

    "This agreement would permit these faith schools and other faith buildings have if you wish to be considered as an extra territorial entity, enjoying the same privileges granted to foreign delegations and their properties. But we also want in exchange build aside of our Embassy in alliance with any of your universities a Montenbourg Theological Institute for Inter-Religious Dialogue and Exchange between both of our faiths, this institute will have a seminary and a private faith school that will depend directly of the Church of Montenbourg.

    He added

    "Also this guarantees freedom of profession and public practice of the Catholic religion in Inquista, and the Orthodox faith in Montenbourg. It recognizes the right of the Inquistan Orthodox Church to regulate and manage her own affairs independently within the limits of the law applicable to all and to issue – within the framework of her own competence – laws and ordinances binding on her members. And the clergy of both of our churches will be exempt from any taxes including their income. Also a clause prohibiting both of our members to pursuit public service in either territory and recognize canonical marriages for all Catholics and Orthodox. 

    Then he said

    "Under His Majesty the Inquistan Orthodox Church will have the right to establish universities, to operate radio stations, and to publish newspapers and magazines, the protection from police intrusion into church properties and the exemption of clergy from military service. We hope this guarantees as reciprocal for both the Church of Montenbourg and the Inquistan Church. What you say?"


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    “Perfect. We find these guarantees and protections most beneficial,” Craticus said smiling. “Secretary Bishop Cunard?”

    “More than we could ask for!” Cunard said beaming, looking at Prime Minister Bettel in the eyes. “This is perhaps the most comprehensive trade agreements that Europe has ever seen, and it easily the most socially and environmentally responsible agreement that has ever been drawn up. As the Inquistan Bishop Secretary for Trade, I can tell you that the Trade Secretariat will be most pleased with this, as well as the Inquistan Chamber of Commerce. Let me ready these points into a singular document as you move on to the next round of subjects.”

    Craticus and Cunard exchanged looks as Cunard then began making revisions on a document, readying it to be signed later on. Craticus returned his focus to the Prime Minister.

    “Ah yes, now to the heavier matters. Well, as was mentioned just earlier, my government, the Church of Inquista, is an active participant in foreign affairs. Since ascending to the role of Archbishop, I have shaped Inquista’s foreign policy to orientate it towards more humanitarian efforts. First, we helped the poor Sahrawi people overcome oppression in Marrakechia, and helped them secure independence from that tyrannical regime, and then we played the most active role in bringing humanitarian aid to the people of the Teutonic States. I had made earlier pledges to bring aid to the people of Dromund Kaas, but I have been reluctant to do so as of yet because I am looking to cooperate with the United Kingdom on the matter. It is imperative, in the Inquistan view, that we respect and work alongside the Coalition of Willing - Angleter, the Duxburian Union and the United Kingdom. We have noticed the interest your country has taken in Dromund Kaas, as well as your current humanitarian efforts there. I extend Inquista’s hand to you, and I propose a pseudo-humanitarian alliance between Inquista and Montenbourg in Dromund Kaas. That way, we can not only combine our efforts, and create a united relief effort, but also allow us to back each other up if need be.”



  • "Good!" The Prime Minister nodded."I could not agree more with Bishop Cunard. In other words as you know in situations of armed conflict, natural disasters and other disaster situations, humanitarian aid, I think, is one of the most effective and tangible means of saving lives and alleviating the suffering of the women, men, girls and boys affected. For us our overall objective in humanitarian aid is to save lives, alleviate suffering and maintain human dignity."

    He added preoccupied

    "With the Kassian Crisis, civilians continue to bear the brunt of a conflict marked by unparalleled suffering, destruction and disregard for human life. We have estimated that around 4.1 million people require humanitarian assistance, including over 2 million people in hard-to-reach areas, where they are exposed to grave protection threats. This for His Majesty's Government is not okay. And as you say we are taken a lead in this crisis, alleviating some suffering. We have established two refugee-transition-camps right on the edge of the non-liberated areas to help the flow of innocent kassians to the safe areas. His Majesty's Special Envoy the Duchess of Apulia was there just few weeks ago, and with her also our goverment demanded more eyes and foot-on-the-ground to help solve this crisis. Also under my administration, we have offered to the Coalition of Willing 2,000 peacekeeping troops of the Royal Army of Montenbourg to help Briton, Angleteric and Duxburian troops in the help of kassian civilians as we understand that we need to work alongside the coalition, but we are still waiting for good eyes in the deployment, this troops are to help facilitate and locate civilians in peril areas in bring them to the camps register them and send them to the liberated areas or enter to our refugee program."

    He then took a sip of water and continued 

    "We are more than happy to make a humanitarian alliance between our countries to alleviate this terrible situation in Dromund Kass. And also have our backs as you say. We really remain persistent in our condemnation of attacks targeting civilians, medical personnel and healthcare facilities, and thats a key reason of the deployment of our peacekeeping troops. Also adding to this, we understand that we need to establish a lasting peace and reconciliation in Dromund Kass and a clear pathway towards accountability for the atrocities committed in Kassian State by Kassian authorities. That's why we want to have more participation in this transition."

    Then he looked seriously to the Archbishop in the eyes and said

    "Between you and I, our aim is target a program intended to eradicate this autocrat-regimes, influence and ideas, and suppress active or potential opposition movements against the participating democratic policies, and open their markets. This of course in the long-run but we need to start having a more active participation in the coalition, and work together Inquista and Montenbourg to do something better for the region, taking your example of lead taken by your country in helping Sahrawi people overcome oppression in Marrakechia, and helped them secure independence. We want that for Dromund Kass."


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    Craticus took a second to think introspectively. "Well, your country's effort are most admirable. As you say, Dromund Kaas has been devastated, and much of the destruction, unfortunately, hasn't even come to light yet. The country is shrouded in mystery, as are the operations of the Coalition of the Willing, so we can't even begin to imagine how much destruction lies before us. It will certainly take decades to rebuild. You can definitely expect Inquista to join Montenbourg in current relief efforts, but as I said, only after I've had a proper discussion with the British Prime Minister. I am glad that we can agree to an alliance on that matter. But with that discussed, I have three more matters I would like to propose.

    First, in terms of national security, Inquista is always interested in creating systems for sharing national intelligence. I propose that we establish a communication and information link between our intelligence and secret services, so that we can work together to overcome cross-border crime and fight global terrorism.

    Secondly, I propose that we loosen entrance restrictions between our states, and introduce visa-free travel between our countries. 

    Thirdly, I hope to have Montenbourg re-affirm, along with Inquista, commitment to nuclear non-proliferation. We hope you are willing to join us in condemning the use of nuclear weapons, and agree, under any circumstances in which nuclear weapons are used, that the offending state or party will be immediately condemned by your country." 



  • "Excellent" He agreed and nodded. "Our intelligence agency will be open to share links to the fight of terror and cross-border crime. And we are more than words reaffirming our commitment to non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. And all for it to the visa-free travel between our countries."


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    "I am glad we are in agreement," Craticus beamed. 

    "Well, gentlemen, shall we commit to this? Cunard asked, producing a revised document.

    "Definitely," Craticus said as he took the agreement from Cunard's hand and signed it. Craticus then presented the document to Prime Minister Bettel.


                                       

                                                         

    The Microstate of Inquista and the Kingdom of Montenbourg will hereby agree to:

    1. Eliminate all existing custom duties between their respective states, with the exception of motorized vehicles and pharmaceuticals. Existing custom duties on gasoline-powered motorized vehicles will be reduced by 45%, while existing custom duties on all other motorized vehicles will be reduced by 90%. Pharmaceutical products may taxed freely.

    2. Create and enforce a labour code that, at the very least, prohibits gender and sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace, creates a minimum workplace safety standard, and prohibits the exploitation of minor children.

    3. Ban chloride and sulfur pollutants, and the dumping of chemical and manufacturing byproduct in fresh and salt waters. 

    4. Commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Existing levels of green house gas emissions must be reduced by 12% by 2030.

    5. Commit to increasing existing levels of investment in green infrastructure technology by 100% by 2030.

    6. Allow the Inquistan Orthodox Church to freely create and fund Inquistan Orthodox faith schools in the Kingdom Montenbourg. Institutions relating to the Inquistan Orthodox Church shall be tax exempt in the Kingdom of Montenbourg.

    7. Allow the Kingdom of Montenbourg to establish a Theological Institute for Inter-Religious Dialogue and Exchange in the Microstate of Inquista. Institutions relating to the Church of Montenbourg shall be tax exempt in Inquista.

    8. Establish a communication and information link between the intelligence and secret services of their respective states. 

    9. Institute visa-free travel between their respective states.

    10. Commit to nuclear non-proliferation and condemn the use of nuclear weapons. Any state or party that detonates nuclear weapons will be immediately condemned by the Microstate of Inquista and the Kingdom of Montenbourg.

    11. Commit to cooperate and collaborate in humanitarian relief efforts in Dromund Kaas. An official humanitarian alliance between the Microstate of Inquista and the Kingdom of Montenbourg will be created within Dromund Kaas.

    This deceleration in a binding document and must be ratified by the relevant government instruments of the Microstate of Inquista and the Kingdom of Montenbourg.



  • The Prime Minister leaned onto his wodden desk, writing neatly with blue fountain pen:

    "On behalf of His Majesty's Government I, Xävier Bettel, Prime Minister of The Kingdom of Montenbourg, under the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Riksdag, and the people of Montenbourg, in this present Free Trade Agreement, I do sign this agreement."

    "There we go. Excellent!" he nodded and shock hands with the Archbishop."I'm very glad we have been able to come to agreement, Paul." 


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