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[Imperial Times] Anisora withdraws from Treaty of Ærilar
09-10-2017, 01:14 AM (This post was last modified: 09-10-2017 01:24 AM by August Dux.)
Post: #1
[Imperial Times] Anisora withdraws from Treaty of Ærilar
[Image: Imperial_Times_Logo.jpg]

ANISORA WITHDRAWS FROM TREATY OF ÆRILAR

Yesterday, Aedeland chaired a conference of the signatory nations of the Treaty of Ærilar to discuss a proposed amendment to the Treaty signed last year. The conference was held in light of the recent controversy over issues surrounding enforcement and arbitration of the Treaty, leading many to conclude that the original Treaty is not fit for purpose.

During the conference, the Aedelish Foreign Office published a proposed amendment to the Treaty and was later put to a vote, carried by five votes to two. Widely acknowledged to be a direct response to the Anisoran Prime Minister Alessandro Nicotera-Sarno’s controversial flag of convenience policy, this is yet another attempt made by Aedeland to keep the ailing Treaty together.

The recent embarrassing dismissal of the lawsuit brought against the Anisoran government, which made plain the gaping hole in the original Treaty on matters of arbitration, has, it would seem, pressed Aedeland into an even more drastic course of action. Aedeland’s acceptance that the Treaty needs rewriting is a coup for Nicotera-Sarno and his Liberal government in and of itself. However, the proposed amendments have proved so controversial in Anisora that the government today announced Anisora’s withdrawal from the Treaty in light of the majority vote.

The amendment was voted through by five to two: Aedeland, Amberia, Anat Tahan, Helreich and the United Royal Provinces for; with Anisora and Auresia against. The decision to carry the motion despite the two objections has drawn attention to the increasingly aggressive tone of the Treaty, where “dissent is clearly no longer acceptable.” The Prime Minister, in a statement this morning, described this as “contrary to the most basic observances of individual sovereignty. If all voices are not heard within a group of supposed equals, it is impossible to reach a mutual understanding.”

In light of this controversy, very few commentators are surprised by the withdrawal of Anisora and Auresia from the Straits Cartel, both having expressed deep concerns over sovereignty since the Treaty’s signing. Auresia’s vote against the amendment came as no surprise to many economic commentators, as her economic might has been built on the back of free trade for decades. This combined withdrawal has placed not only the Western Strait, but the critically important Hattaro Strait, beyond the reach of the Treaty, with many wondering whether such a cartel can continue after these withdrawals.

The amendments outlined by the Aedelish represented an overhaul of the Treaty’s existing legislation. One of the principal changes was that regarding enforcement, wherein an audit commission was to be set up to investigate enforcement issues, raising many vocal concerns of foreign intervention in Anisoran shipping and trade.

However, the most controversial motion was arguably in the establishment of military force as the sole means of enforcement by the cartel nations; where ships operating outside of cartel legislation would be subject to “detention, confiscation, and/or exclusion”. In a move that has baffled Anisoran lawyers, no mention of arbitration was included in the amendment. According to Lord Valiano, Tribune for Foreign Affairs, who represented Anisora at the conference, the reluctance to address issues surrounding arbitration “is simply unviable for any lasting international agreement.” The exclusion of clauses related to legal or other methods of arbitration has led many in Anisora and elsewhere to believe the Treaty is swiftly turning into a military monopoly, backed up solely by the threat of force; something the Anisoran Prime Minister has condemned in the clearest of terms.

A further controversial amendment, under Article IV, is the proposed distribution of the income collected from non-signatory ships passing through the straits, wherein Anisora would be entitled to receive one-eighteenth of the total, whereas Aedeland takes the lion’s share of one-sixth. Sources at the conference have reported Lord Valiano as officially describing this as “insulting” and unofficially as “indicative of Aedeland’s determination to control Anarian trade at others’ expense.”

This morning the Anisoran Prime Minister, Sir Alessandro Nicotera-Sarno, gave a statement before the Imperial Senate outlining the government’s reaction to the conference vote and announced the momentous decision to withdraw Anisora formally from the Treaty of Ærilar. In the speech the Prime Minister attacked the dangerous absence of articles of arbitration and the increasing military stranglehold this Treaty is seeking to hold over world trade. The speech marks a significant escalation in the war of words surrounding the Treaty, with the Prime Minister calling the amendments “in equal measure insulting and dangerous.”

A transcript of part of his lengthy speech is provided below:

“This amendment to the Treaty of Ærilar is an insult to Anisora and the free nations of Anaria.
Aedeland, and seemingly the other signatory nations, seek to turn the waters of Anaria into a battleground, where ships of all flags and colours are subject to inspection, confiscation and detention by foreign military vessels. I cannot speak for Aedeland, but the memories of the War are still fresh in this country; the wounds are still healing. We sacrificed so very much blood and treasure during that most horrific conflict, and fought so long for peace to reign over Anaria and the world. This Treaty, which the Aedelish originally proposed as a means to avoid conflict over the straits, is quickly turning into precisely the catalyst for Anarian tension it supposedly sought to avoid.

I only regret that the previous government had the ill sense to entertain such ideas by signing the Treaty in the first place. My government cannot agree to wilfully throw away Anisoran sovereignty in light of this amendment. And this government cannot in all conscience be a part of an increasingly aggressive and tyrannical agreement that seeks to destroy the entire basis of free trade.

This proud nation will not bow to the will of others – Anisorans decide their own destiny, and this is certainly not the path we intend to walk. For these reasons, among many others, I announce that I will be withdrawing Anisora from the Treaty of Ærilar. I do not make this decision lightly, but after consultation with His August Imperial Majesty and my cabinet, continuing membership of the Treaty in light of this new amendment has become not only undesirable but impossible.”

The Leader of the Opposition, the Marquess of Toralino of the National Party, who has remained the most vocal supporter of the Treaty and the Prime Minister’s most fierce critic, has made no statement since the conference. Sources close to his Lordship have also refused to comment on the matter, leading many to conclude that any support for this amendment would prove to be political suicide at this moment. Political commentators believe that Nicotera-Sarno’s show of determination in the face of an increasingly militarised Treaty of Ærilar will play very well with the electorate.

Concerns have been raised in Talpei that Anisora’s withdrawal leaves Vittmark in a precarious position in relation to the Treaty. During questions after the Prime Minister’s announcement this morning, Nicotera-Sarno calmed some fears by stating that “the Anisoran government remains committed to friendship with Vittmark and will do everything in its power to ensure mutually beneficial trade continues.” Senator Filippo Foreni, in the first hint of dissent within Nicotera-Sarno’s government since the announcement, has criticised this statement as not going far enough to reassure our Vittish friends. The government’s policy, however, remains to be seen.

The future of the cartel remains uncertain, and it remains to be seen how Anisora and her ally Auresia will adapt to their withdrawal from the Treaty, although most commentators in Anisora note that the government is extremely unlikely to bow to the cartel nations under this new amendment. Many wonder how Aedeland, as the de facto leader of the cartel, will respond to the withdrawal. The only surety at this time is that the controversy is not yet over.

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09-11-2017, 09:33 PM (This post was last modified: 09-12-2017 08:41 PM by August Dux.)
Post: #2
RE: [Imperial Times] Anisora withdraws from Treaty of Ærilar
Palazzo Laterino, Pena - the residence of the Prime Minister of the Anisoran Empire.

The Anisoran Prime Minister Sir Alessandro Nicotera-Sarno sat behind his desk, the light of the day beginning to retreat through the windows to be replaced with electric lighting. The light from the window and from the nearby lampshade fought over the pages neatly arranged in front of him. He placed two fingers on his temples. Tiredness washed over him, but just as he closed his eyes a knock came at the door.

“Yes”

A footman entered and opened the door. “Lord Valiano and Sir Leonardo to see you, Sir.” Two men entered the room, both dressed in well-tailored suits. Lord Valiano, Tribune for Foreign Affairs, shook the Prime Minister’s hand, followed by Sir Leonardo Sponafora, Private Secretary of the Emperor.

“Gentlemen,” Nicotera-Sarno said, gesturing for them to sit, “it would appear Aedeland is not happy with us.” The two men laughed in unison, making themselves comfortable. “The criticisms are what we predicted, nothing particularly inventive. They reject our view of the militarisation of the straits, and they continue to show contempt for the need for meaningful arbitration.”

“And that is their problem now,” added Lord Valiano. “Even if the cartel does survive this, which we of course doubt, when the inevitable disputes surface between the Amberians and the Hellish, and the Aedelish with everybody else, the treaty will grind to a halt like it did in our courts. I am still baffled by the short sightedness of the Aedelish, and the willingness of the other signatories to join such an ill thought out operation. How the Aedelish think that their national legislature can arbitrate between nations is beyond me.”

“Agreed,” replied the prime minister. “Vind knows how they think it will last.” He produced a newspaper from his desk, Ærilys, the most widely read Aedelish newspaper. None of the men in the room spoke Aedelish, but there were neatly typed translations on the desk. “They seem to view our call for functioning arbitration rules as hypocritical.” He shook his head and sighed. “They seem to think we were calling for an international court of some kind. That idea is ridiculous, and you both know just how contrary that is to what we want. If they cannot even understand the simple need for a legal agreement within the Treaty how in the name of Mighty Vind do they expect nations to agree on the finer details of legislation?”

“I don’t know, Prime Minister.” Sir Leonardo said. “It seems Aedeland is a lost cause. His August Imperial Majesty was, however, shocked at the seeming disregard the other nations showed on this particular issue. Particularly in light of the court case here being so widely reported on across Anaria. His Majesty continues to hope that other nations will see reason and respect the need for legal frameworks, at the very least.”

“Indeed” replied Lord Valiano. “An international agreement between supposed friends cannot be held together solely by the threat of force. Heavens, this isn’t the 74th century!”

“I admit” continued the Prime Minister, “I am still surprised that the Hellish didn’t raise any issues at the conference. They would receive the lowest amount of the collected tariffs alongside us.”

“We’ve heard very little from the Hellish,” said Lord Valiano. “The opposition in Amberia, however, has shown” he paused, “sympathetic perspectives, shall we say? The looming election is placing the coalition government in a precarious position it would seem. And the furious condemnation Queen Anna of Vittmark has given her cousin the Queen-elect will undoubtedly further pressure the government.”

“The Vittish never cease to surprise, it would seem,” commented the Prime Minister with a smile. “For such a young nation, they play the game very well.”

Sir Leonardo nodded. “Perhaps, Prime Minister, but His Majesty is disturbed by Queen Anna’s removal of the Amberian royal family from the line of succession. It is His opinion that such a move sets a dangerous precedent and is further indication of just how divisive this Treaty is becoming.”

“I understand His Majesty’s concerns,” replied the Prime Minister. “It was a bold and unexpected move, to be sure, and certainly reflects the divisive nature of the Treaty. And while I regret His Majesty’s anxiety on the subject, it could play very well for us. The stakes are increasingly high for Amberia, it would seem. The combined pressures of the upcoming election, the newly passed Representation Act, the fact that we are using international waters right next door to Amberia itself to avoid the Tariff, and this new threat to the royal succession, all put the coalition government there in a very precarious position. I find it increasingly unlikely that Her Majesty Queen-elect Margarete would see the Treaty as worth the risk.” He paused. “That, however, is my assessment, and we will have to wait to see what the Amberians do. We should nonetheless reach out to them.”

“I believe" Sir Leonardo added, "we should contact the opposition to garner opinion."

"I'll set up a preliminary meeting with our embassy staff" replied Lord Valiano. "May I return to events in Vittmark? It is paramount that we participate in this matter delicately. Our commitment to our Vittish friends is, of course, beyond doubt at this stage, and we must be positioned to help in their bold decision to nationalise the concessions. However, we must not be seen to be antagonising Aedeland or the concession holders. Should the concession holders refuse to leave their ports, the Vittish government has made it very clear they would be treated as ‘illegal combatants.’”

“This will certainly require intricate manoeuvring,” said Sir Leonardo. “His Majesty has committed to assist the Vittish in any way he can in this regard, without committing our Armed Forces to any definitive plan. I understand you wish to refrain from deploying any more forces to our concession in Vittmark at this time, Prime Minister?”

“I do at this time, yes. It is vital we do not appear to be exacerbating matters. We are not the aggressor in this disagreement and I will not lose public opinion, both here and abroad, by increasing ship or troop movements.”

“Very good, Prime Minister. His Majesty has planned a meeting of the military High Command at Colombera Palace on Thursday. These matters will be further discussed there.”

“Thank you, Sir Leonardo. I will be there.”

“On a lighter note concerning Vittmark,” Lord Valiano said, “the Aedelish seem to believe that they are the grand architects behind our and Auresia’s withdrawal from the Treaty.” He paused, a smile appearing on his face. “Anna has put us all under her spell.” The prime minister smiled and the three of them laughed. “In all seriousness, however, the Aedelish are dangerously disconnected from any view that they don’t agree with. They have once again misread the political climate both here and, more crucially, in Auresia.”

The Prime Minister waved a dismissive hand. “Let them concoct whatever conspiracy theories they think will help them make sense of this. It matters not. They can do very little about our and Auresia’s decision. We can reach our colonies, we can reach our concession in Vittmark, we can reach markets in the Shangti.”

Sir Leonardo sat up and spoke softly. “It is perhaps their very inability to act that should give us pause for concern. Anisora and Auresia have effectively rendered the Treaty unenforceable. The Aedelish are naturally desperate to see the Treaty work and as such may feel that a show of force is required. It is our understanding that the Aedelish will not back down until all avenues are exhausted.”

The Prime Minister frowned before continuing, “I have indeed thought long and hard about this. I still find war a very unlikely outcome. Not only would it be an inexcusable overreaction and certainly condemned by the international community, more importantly they are in no position to wage war, considering their ongoing war with the Ithrieni in Haniyyahs.”

“Perhaps, Prime Minister,” said Sir Leonardo, “but Aedeland is not alone in the cartel.”

“I refuse to entertain concerns over a coalition at this time. No, it all depends on Vittmark. If the concession holders back off and withdraw, we will have a better sense of the military situation. Nevertheless, I expect the High Command is discussing all possible outcomes.”

“Naturally, Prime Minister.”

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