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On Matters Concerning Southern France


Sarah Tintagyl
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[quote]
[b]To: Valerio de Bourbon, Emperor of the Western Athenian Federation
From: Simone Valentin, Chairwoman of the Commune of France
Subject: Marseilles and French Territory[/b]
[i]
Monsieur,

I apologize at the seemingly awful timing of this letter, but as a matter of French prosperity and security matters concerning Marseilles and the outlying regions must be brought to attention. Given that Athens has annexed the nation of Monaco-Valencia, who held up until the time of your annexation, the region of Marseilles, France has deemed it a personal crusade to see this territory returned to the Mother Country. I am aware that the Empress for a time attempted private conversation with the previous regime, but given that Marseilles was deemed their capital, a transfer of territory was impossible.

With a more reasonable regime, as yourselves, now in power in this territory I would like to bring up this issue again and invite yourself or, if you have more pressing needs, an ambassador to Paris to discuss the possibility of France regaining part of her homeland. In return, I will promise a large sum of capital, munitions, and other resources to the Athenian war effort in Asia and to your rebuilding efforts at home from damage sustained.

I await this meeting anxiously.

Sincerely,

Simone Valentin
Chairwoman of the Revolutionary Party[/i]
[/quote]

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As the Personal Union affected the Eastern Athenian Federation the message would be redirected to Athens rather than Rome. A reply was sent that Empress Ariadne would visit Paris herself. Due to the state of war the plane would be escorted by two F-1s at all times, these fighters would turn back to a base in Milan when the plane safely landed.

Early that afternoon the plane would be on its final approach, once landed the Empress stepped out followed by her entourage of High Guard.

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Given the nature of the meeting and the general environment the world was in, Simone thought it best to make the meeting with the Empress run as quickly and smoothly as possible. There was no fanfare, no music, no flags. Only Simone and a small honor guard awaited the Empress upon her landing and a limousine which would take the two leaders to the Palais de l'Élysée. When Ariadne disembarked, Simone respectfully nodded her head and extended her hand. "Madame Notaras, it is a pleasure to receive you in Paris. My sincerest regret goes out to your people on the recent developments of the war in Asia. I stated in my letter to your Co-Ruler that if there is anything France can do, either diplomatically or economically to ease your troubles, you only need to ask. Though I am sure, a hardy nation as Athens is, should have little trouble defending and recovering from war. If you would follow me," she said directing the Empress. "We can get this process moving."

The ride through Paris was silent, though traffic was light. They arrived at the Palais de l'Élysée in the late afternoon and Simone immediately took the Empress to the Salon D'Ore for their private discussions.

Once seated in the gilded room and under the veil of mirrors and rococo architecture, Simone began. "As I said in my letter, Madame Notras, the marriage of your Family with the previous rulers of Monaco really has given France the only chance she has to regain her southern core in a diplomatic manner. The Grimaldi Regime, who made Marseilles their capital I'm sure had no intention to part with the city, but we are not willing to part with our desire to include it back into the Mother Country. You and Monsieur de Bourbon are, I believe, much more reasonable about this issue and Athens support in Marseilles' return to France would make the Commune eternally grateful."

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Ariadne nodded "I thank you miss Valentin, truth be told thanks to you France already has done the most valuable thing possible to Athens, become and remain stable." She said as she followed Simone and the guards to the car.

Once in the car and on the road she looked through the window, Paris had come a far way from her time as a protectorate "I must say, I have been here a few times during the chain of dark and questionable regimes and the protectorates. I have never seen the people as motivated as they are now. Probably not since the last French Republic.". Once the car stopped she followed Simone inside and to the Salon D'Ore where she would listen to the request.

"Do not worry miss Valentin, I am confident we will find a way to properly integrate Marseilles into France. What did you have in mind exactly?"

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"Precisely that, Madame." Simone said with a nod of her head. "I do not want to increase pressure on your people during such a grievous time and I am sure even parting with Marseilles will cause some passing of papers in Athens where that human capital could be better used on the Asian Front. All that the Commune would ask for is the territory, held by the previous nation of Monaco-Valencia to be returned, minus Monaco Proper of course. So we're talking the city of Marseilles and the surrounding regions. However, and we can discuss this at another time, Madame, if your nation would be up for it. For the possibility of Geneva to return to French rule as well, as it was during the Zellic Empire. In return for that, a treaty could be signed forbidding French influence within the Mediterranean, thus giving Athens full control of everything that happens in Southern Europe. But of course, that is your decision. I would abhor rushing you to any conclusion."

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"We are willing to cede Marseilles and the territory west of it connecting it to France, however we can not cede land that is historically considered part of the Duchy of Savoy, nor can we have Monaco disconnected from the Athenian Federation. Geneva is possible to be discussed at a later date however the main issue is there the desire of the Swiss minorities to keep their country united."

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"Completely understandable, Madame. By that notion, France will acquiesce to our potential holdings on Nice and instead make our new border with your Federation at Cannes. And I understand completely about Geneva at a later day, after the war with Cochin is over we can discuss such a thing further." Simone offered her hand forward. "It was a pleasure meeting with you Madame, I hope we can do it again soon."

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