2nd January 2015
President Kligenberg hadn't a chance to breathe in the last couple of weeks. Summits, Christmas Day parties, New Year's Inauguration, the Opening of the Sejm and the Senate in the new National Assembly: her life was insane. Her husband even commented on how frenzied her schedule had been. But this was important, and she knew that this could be a big leap forward for Poland.
She understood the Empire of Inimicus. Emperor Artabanos was in the middle of a Cabinet crisis, and the fact that he would take time out of his schedule (frantic in its own right) to visit Poland made everything much more exciting. She clutched her coffee. The hazelnut creamer was delicious, and it was giving her the lifeblood that she needed at the moment. She waited as a team of aides and Vice President Gulczynska joined her.
"Are you absolutely sure that you don't want me to run this summit?" the Vice President asked.
"No, it wouldn't be appropriate. He is THE government of Inimicus, much like the President of Poland-Lithuania is both the head of state and government," the President answered back. She slumped backwards somewhat. "Ugh...it will be fine. The Emperor is very much a reformer, and I can find common ground with him. It will also be helpful for the future, as I need to purchase some aircraft from Inimicus anyway. He could at least point me in the correct direction."
"Valid. Would you like me to be present?" the Vice President asked.
"No; you should run the Cabinet meeting today, because I'm going to go home after this. You can brief me at Lazienki later," the President responded. "The craziness is almost finished."
The aides stayed and prepared the room, and handed President Kligenberg a folder containing some of the Foreign Affairs Office's details on the Empire of Inimicus.
"Good!" President Kligenberg responded. "Thank you. Is the orchestra ready as well?"
"Yes," the senior aide said to the President. "They've prepared our new national anthem and the Inimican national anthem," the aide replied.
"Excellent!" the President responded. "Then I shall wait for the Emperor to appear!"
With so much going on at home, Emperor Artabanos was displeased with his secretary's decision to have a state visit right now. When he heard to which country he would be going, however, he was elated. He had not been to Poland before, and was keen to find out everything about the nation. He had heard great deals about the Polish symphony orchestras, its culture, its music, its art, and took a great interest in meeting with Polish officials for the betterment of both nations. His flight had been long, yet comfortable, with enough refreshments and snacks to last him for days.
"So the Communists and Socialists have agreed to join the UGF", his secretary said to him.
"Stop talking about internal affairs right now, James", Artabanos responded, "We're here to visit Poland and discuss matters with them, we shouldn't be concerned with what's happening at home right now."
The motorcade pulled over in front of the Presidential Palace. Artabanos admired the building's splendour, its classical elements, and the weather which made it shine.
"Ah, Madam President", he said, "Good to see you again."
The President looked at the Emperor, shook his hand, and bowed at the waist slightly to show her respect. She understood how much Royal Protocol matters in these situations, having been brought up in that environment and briefly was an Empress herself.
"Emperor Artabanos, it is a true honour to have you here in Poland. It's shockingly sunny outside, despite the bitter cold. I hope you find our Republic a wonderful place to visit. Let me bring you inside," the President said to the Emperor kindly.
They walked into the main hall, where a 50 member orchestra was waiting at the very end of the hall. The President looked at the conductor and smiled approvingly.
"Please, allow us to honour our nations before we meet with the playing of our national anthems," the President responded. "This is also a brand new anthem for Poland, and while it is a bit lengthy, it is a celebration of our past, present, and future."
The Inimican anthem was followed by the new Polish National Anthem.
Surprised the Polish knew they should not be playing the Inimician Civil Anthem at occasions at which the Emperor was present, Artabanos smiled when he heard the first tunes of his personal hymn. It was a fine tradition, although confusing at times. He was also hugely impressed by the new Polish anthem. When the music had finished, he said: "I can understand why you chose this beautiful anthem!"
Artabanos was unfamiliar with the Polish Presidential Palace, and as such he followed the President's every footstep.
President Kligenberg lead him to the White Room, the meeting place for all foreign heads of state and government. It would do for the meeting.
"I personally enjoy the new national anthem. There is a buoyancy that was missing in the previous anthem. It's now much more...I don't know...full of pride," President Kligenberg said. She sat down across from the Emperor, who was a striking figure in his own right. He exuded power and confidence. It made her want to rise to his same level of confidence.
"Thank you for meeting with me Emperor Artabanos. I believe we have several areas that we can cooperate with. I want to touch on several things:
-the purchase of military equipment from Inimicus
-increased cooperation geopolitically
Would those things be comfortable to talk about, Emperor Artabanos?"
Artabanos craved a cup of tea, yet was too polite to make this noticeable. "Indeed, your anthem is wonderful", he said as he thought of a warm cuppa, "The subjects you mention are perfectly fine with me. Although of course, after our arms deal with Davishire, I should be careful who I sell my planes to, haha!". Even though he was joking about his government's A400M Atlas plane deal with Davishire, it was something that was still gnawing on him, even after all this time. Personally, he felt that his Halsbergian and Inquistan allies had no business in demanding he stopped arms deals with Davishire, but his advisors and ministers thought otherwise. The matter had been another point of conflict between him and his Cabinet, and another straw on the camel's back, which had broken just before Christmas.
"Let's get started then, shall we? Let's discuss trade first. Inimicus has large stocks of lumber, as well as sizable amouts of natural gas, coal, uranium, bauxite, iron ore, and even fish. However, I have heard of Poland's huge stocks of natural resources, so I'm not too hopefull of selling any of mine to you! Inimicus also has other services to offer, however. Our industries are booming, and our financial sector definitely isn't bad, either. Perhaps Poland would like to make use of them? What does Poland have to offer?"
"Yes. Oh, and excuse my manners; would you like anything to drink or eat to accompany this meeting?" President Kligenberg responded, blushing slightly. She noticed that Emperor Artabanos was without his preferred drink of choice.
"Poland has lots of lumber, coal, and we are positively swimming in oil and natural gas. We have several metals like tungsten, cobalt, and nickel, which we think will prove greatly helpful in manufacturing your armoured vehicles. We would like to trade for perhaps finished products more than anything. But you may not enjoy that.
"Poland's metals have given us a great advantage in manufacturing steels, industrial machinery, alloys and many of the hallmarks of industry that make us competitive internationally. We are also gifted with information technology, so maybe we can do something along that front. I have heard of the Inimican financial system. It is one of the best in the world, rivalling Inquista and the Duxburian Union.
"Perhaps a deal involving access to Poland in terms of banking would interest your nation?"
"Ah, how kind of you. A cup of tea for me, please", Artabanos accepted, fearing he might have made his desire for a hot beverage too obvious.
"Banking, eh?", he continued, "That sounds acceptable. Our financial sector could most definitely be opened to Polish assets and accounts.
Also, we would most definitely be interested trading some of your plentiful natural resources for finished products. Perhaps we could even have some Polish resource refinery take place in Inimicus?"
"You can understand my hesitance in wanting to take Polish fossil fuels and refine them in other nations," President Kligenberg responded. "And you will understand if the Sejm does not jump at that opportunity. The oil and gas industries are very important to the Polish economy, and sending oil overseas for refinement may not leave us in as strong of a position. Nevertheless, I can agree to it and it will be up to the Sejm to decide when they receive the treaty.
"We appreciate the opening up to Polish assets, and I hope that we find common ground on that.
"I would like to also offer the idea of artist visas to you. We have them in trial with other nations and it has been an enormous success. We would like to offer the citizens of Inimicus who work professionally in the visual, performing and other fields of art to apply for visas to work in Poland. We have arguably the strongest arts culture in Europe, and it would be beneficial to both of our nations to have an exchange of arts and ideas. We would, naturally, allow the artist to create and trademark or patent their work, and the patent would be made available both in Poland and in Inimicus if the artist so desires. The details on copyright, trademark, and patent have already been covered to an extent on the regional level, but this would be for those artists who would not want their work to be released regionally yet."
"Hmm, yes, of course, Inimicus has to import much of its oil and other necessary natural resources, and as such we lack experience refining them.
Artist visas, eh? Sounds most interesting. Indeed, I was advised by some of my counselors to dicuss an agreement like you are proposing. It has to be said Inimicus is not the most.... rich..... country when it comes to expressive arts - although our architects are still the most renowned in our surroundings - so we would definitely want to seek inspiration from your country. Your proposal concerning patents, too, is most acceptable."
"Delightful! Shall we discuss anything that is pressing to his Imperial Majesty?" the President asked, again making sure she honoured her guest appropriately.