All About that Halsberg
OOC: After dinner in Inimicus
A plane landed and taxied to park at the diplomatic suite with a reception awaiting it.With the red carpet extended the Viscount, Vice-President Okozio and Prime Minister Milios walked down the apron to the parked aircraft. The ceremonial guard known as the Aeolians lined the red carpet and stood to attention as the Viscount and his fellow leaders walked towards the plane.
As they stood at the bottom of the aircraft steps the visiting party disembarked. The Viscount walked straight up to the High President warmly shaking his hand "Welcome Mr High President to Os Corelia I'm so glad to finally meet you in person as we embark on our important jounrey together"
He led the High President to the podiums and began his speech.
"Diplomacy is often best at its quietest, without a glare and with a strong heart. Over the past year we have fashioned a strong relationship with the great nation of Halsberg a strong true ally. It is but on occasions like these we can truly celebrate the strong forged relationship in such a formal manner and by meeting for a summit to discuss a potantial treaty we will see Halsberg become more important to our nation as a friend and regional comrade. "
The crowd applauded and head of the military Admiral Okozio marched up to the Viscount and saluted him.
"Admiral Okozio I now ask that you allow High President Solomon to enter the Viscountcy of Aerodimus. He is free to walk within the walls without need of watch nor kind"
The Admiral nodded saluted and presented the High President with a state sash in the Aerodimus state colours with a sewn Minaj Tricolour.
The Minaj Tricolour was hoisted up the post first to its anthem Halsberg, die Gro? und M?chtig.
Then the Liberty Bird of The New Parliamentary Republic of Os Corelia was raised to the Corelian National Anthem We're All Corelia Ours
Then the State Flag of Aerodimus was hoisted to the state anthem Bright Glittering Gifts performed by the Corelian Folk Orkestar with Laura Veirs singing.
'May I invite you to say a few words High President'
_"Thank you so much, Viscount. As you say, our two nations over the past few years have become fast friends. We've grown from simple trade partners to something much bigger, much more close, which is why I was wanting to come here today. Despite the close relationship we've built between our two countries, I've never visited these isles and never sampled the fish I think everyone in Europe has heard so much about! Although I had the pleasure of a five minute conversation with the Viscountessa when she visited Thurston a few years ago, myself and the Corelian leaders have never met properly, and I'm glad that the opportunity has finally came along.
Now, I won't bore you all with the mundane points behind this summit, but I will say that both of our nations will come out stronger, wealthier and happier than before. Thank you, and of course tack s? mycket."_
The High President turned to the Viscount and they shook hands. Camera shutters and flashes exploded into life. The image of the High President wearing the charming sash and the Viscount would no doubt be plastered across tomorrow's newspapers.
"Shall we begin, Viscount?", and the group made their way to a more private venue.
The car arrived at Leodis Square Parliament complex and the delegates entered the Grand Diplomacy Suite which was adorned with the flags of the nations and printed name cards for all those involved in dicussions.
The diplomats took there seats and the Viscoutn begna proceedings:
'Welcome High President and team to our national parliament for our summit talks. I believe we all have our pre-agreed and prepared agenda for these talks discussing the following topics:
- Defence Partnership
- Trade Possibilities
- Freedom of Movement
- Education Exchange
- Land Reclamation Projects
So let's kick off with defence, for this I would like to invite the High President to summarise his understand of current agreements to ensure we're on the same page as well as any hopes of change or development.
"Certainly. Well, from what I've read and been told by Secretary Moreno, the last meeting between Halsberg and Corelia was quite productive on the defence front, if you'd forgive the pun. We agreed on a defensive pact between our two countries, along with the sharing of bases and the use of Corelian ports by the Halsbergian Navy. I believe we also made an agreement on the subject of Halsbergian nuclear deterrent, which is something I'd like to come back to. If I'm honest I'd like to revisit most if not all of our current defence agreements. Both of our countries have evolved considerably and its essential our partnerships evolve too. Would you think that would be accurate, Viscount?"
'That is a valid assessment. I have received a few documents from my cheif of defence Adrmial Okozio. She has given me a few agreement pointers we hashed out last time and find that we don't have anything definitive. As far as I'm aware there is a Halsbergian air force and naval fleet based at the Tolchek Island military bases but we do need something in writing don't we'
"I'd think so. I mean, when our defence arrangements come up back home its always a pain to try and piece together all the wee informal agreements and the like. I think someone in the Defence Office managed to make a kind of folder with all of practical arrangements and all that, but its no substitute for an actual signed treaty," the High President answered, becoming more relaxed now he was away from the prying eyes of the media. He hadn't spent much time with the Viscount, and when they first met he could sense some, almost instinctive hostility, though it was suppressed by the Corelian's obvious charm. Perhaps his face reminded Hargadoon of someone that he particularly disliked.
"You've very kindly hosted us for a few years now, and I think perhaps Halsberg should offer a wee token of our gratitude. We'd be willing to use an element of the Imperial Navy to help out the their Corelian counterparts in tackling piracy and illegal fishing in Corelian waters. Halsberg could offer the services of three of our corvette class vessels, the HNS Celine Dion, HNS Cyndi Lauper and HNS Amy Winehouse to assist the corelian Navy. Of course, our satellite network and air capability from the Westfallon base can be employed to help out too. What do you think of that, Viscount?"
'Why high president that would be wonderful that have your assistance in such matters. There is also a tangible fear of oil spills in our waters. Currently we have policy that all tankers, non of which are single hulled, are escorted through a set route but this can be hard to police. We also greatly need this technology as we are currently relying on radios and maps! What can we offer in return? After review of our informal agreement I would be happy to grant you sole occupancy of the Air and Naval bases on Tolchek Island, we would retain ownership but leave you for maximum occupancy'
"That'd be great, Viscount. Although some of the men have grown quite fond of some of their Corelian counterparts, I'm sure they'll be able to keep in touch," the High President said with a chuckle. _"Exclusive occupancy is obviously going to be a great benefit for our presence in the region, which will help not only with the efforts against illegal use of your waters, but also the defence of Corelia itself. Which brings me on to my next point.
"Under the terms of our previous arrangement, we've got the good old, tried and tested defence pact going on. Should Corelia be attacked, Halsberg will come to its aid and vice versa. I was wondering if you still find this desirable to put in our new agreement, and if there's any changes you'd want to make if we do?_
Yes we are more than happy to assist you in the event of an attack and will accept that into the treaty.
Just a few conditions to this and the exclusivity of Tolchek.
With the agreement of aid in event of attack, this is only only official Halsbergian territory and not an attack on Halsbergian troops in non-Halsbergian territory, we also no participate in extra-territorial conflict. The defensive aid given will mainly be for the civilian populations.
In terms of the exclusivity of Tolchek, we will place a board of commissioners in charge of the base and all activities at it must be reported to them, this will make it easier to clear airspace for certain activities. The board must approve every activity as well as any changes to the base you wish to make.
Do you have a projection of the number of troops you will station there? as we have just renewed our military budget and have a clearer sense of projections.
_"Plans haven't been finalised yet but I expect perhaps around 5 units of airborne troops, totaling around 25,000. However the main focus for the base isn't on the infantry side of things. We're much more interested in expanding our naval, and to a slightly lesser extent our air capability in the area. As such, most of the users of the base won't be permanently stationed there. According to the latest numbers from the Navy, there are 29 frigates, 12 destroyers, a cruiser and 3 supercarriers in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans that could make use of the base, although of course those numbers will change regularly. But they should provide some kind of basic idea of what to expect. Would this be acceptable to you, Viscount?
I'd also like to raise another, related issue. What's the situation regarding our nuclear armed submarines using the naval base from time to time? I'm well aware of your firm anti-nuke stance from the ENAA, but this part of the world is hotting up, and the ability for our nuclear armed submarines to use the base would strengthen our position and the area's stability by a large margin."_
'The Viscount consulted his latest military dispatches. 'In terms of the troops 25,000 is shall we say a figure a tad too high. in terms of figures we will accommodate in our agreement. 5,000 troops is the cap figure. Also in terms of naval capacity the fleet figures you suggest are not amenable to our maritime sustainability, we have to keep figures capped so they craft won't be overly disturbing marine life which as you know is our main income source. At any one time can can allow the maximum over 5 firgates in proximity of the base with a cap on 2 seadocking as opposed to drydocking, we will allo 3 destroyers with again 2 max seadocking, the cruiser is fine. We will allow one supercarrier in our water border but this must be off coast in the Gattorah Strait between the island and the main land.
I'm not going to lie Nuclear is not an easy issue on our government and our little heated liaison with Davishire having your nukes at our beck and call has hit our party hard in the polls. This is something we'd have to revisit post-election if we get re-elected'
_"I don't think I explained those naval numbers too clearly. These are the numbers of ships that could use the base, to refuel and resupply and such. Not how many would be stationed there permanently. Of course, a massive fleet in numbers like that wouldn't descend on Corelia at one time either!
Regarding the nuclear issue, I understand the sensitivity of the topic with the Corelian media. I can understand your personal position, our acquisition of nukes wasn't exactly warmly received, but its mostly calmed down now. There's no pressing need for a decision by yourself on this, you'll be pleased to here. It was only a small little thing. Halsberg's missile technology means that we can hit almost anywhere in the region at hypersonic speeds if we're attacked, so its no bother.
Is there anything more military-wise you'd like to talk about?"_
'Well then if it's purely a defensive measure and just to refuel I'm sure we can keep that under the table on the nuke subs. Just don't drag us into anything war wise. I guess on your account its just a courtesy to notify us. On military I don't think there's anything else. If we sign the agreement on the military deal now we can implement it.
Present me the document and we'll get signatures down before progressing'
"That's very gracious of you Viscount. Rest assured, Halsberg isn't looking for any kind of war, you won't be dragged into anything. Now, I believe my secretary has been preparing the outline document...ah yes thanks Delores."
A rather large woman with a grey trouser suit and a firm bun handed the High President a sheet of paper which she had produced while the two men were talking. Solomon adjusted his reading glasses.
"So...we have Halsberg gaining full occupancy of the Tolchek Island Air and Naval Base. We have three Halsbergian ships, along with our satellite and intelligence networks, assisting in anti-piracy and general defence of Corelian aquaculture. We have a mutual defensive pact, however this only covers attacks by third parties on our own officially recognised territory. It would be civilian focused, naturally, with no participation in extraterritorial conflict. I think that's it. Would you care to sign first Viscount?"
The Viscount took out his pen of office and signed next to his name on the document 'and we're done'
The High President did the same, feeling rather out done by the Viscount's pen of office. He looked at his standard black biro and suppressed the urge to say 'yours is bigger than mine'.
He signed the document quickly and with his trademark flourish.
"Now, should we move on economic matters? What would Os Corelia like to see in a trade deal with Halsberg?"
'Yaviek please fetch the case' the Viscount said and a strange silence fell for a few moments until the Viscount's PA brought in a case and opened it to reveal fresh fish on ice. 'Would you expect anything less from a Corelian High President?' the Viscount Smirked
The High President smiled. He liked Hargadoon. The Corelian sense of humour was always welcome.
"I wonder what Os Corelia could possibly export...", he said with quite a strong hint of sarcasm. "We definitely need some of the best Corelian fish you've got to offer. Of course we'd need to take our own fishing industry into account, but in recent years we've seen a natural decline in that industry. Only natural, I suppose. We've had to enact strict measures to protect the Caspian's stocks, thanks to decades of unregulated activity. I'm sure the consumers would be eager to get a piece of the world famous corelian fish. What can we offer you?"
'We would like for our seaboards to be able sell fish into the Halsbergian market and maybe some euros for our fine fresh tasty delectable fishies. Did you know in Kaldoon they have 1,000 ways to cook cod! If there is a commodity you wish to be allowed into the Corelian market I'm sure we can be amenable'