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Anglo-French Diplomacy


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With the British change in foreign affairs policy, fresh diplomatic movements were in the works. The first was focused on Imperial France. 

 

To: Francoise Ouibliant of the Third French Empire

From: Richard Winters, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Great Britain and Northern Ireland

CC: British Cabinet

Subject: Discussion

 

Bonjour monsieur Ouibliant, je suis très heureux de faire votre acquaintaince.

 

Despite my love of your language, I must continue hereforth in English as other members of the British government will receive copies of this may not necessarily understand the fine words of French.

 

I will get straight to the point: the British government wishes to establish diplomatic relations between our two countries and would like to send a diplomat to discuss matters further.

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To: Richard Winters, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Great Britain and Northern Ireland

From: Francoise Ouibliant of the Third French Empire

CC: British Cabinet

Subject: Re: Discussion

We would be delighted to receive a diplomat from our neighbors across the channel. It has been our sincerest hope to reopen relations with the government of Britain once more. Any date is acceptable, we shall be ready to receive a flight at Orleans airport.

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Richard Winters was having a good day. The sun was shining and brought London up to a humid twenty-seven degrees. It certainly went against the grain of typical British weather but nobody complained, quite rightly. Taking a break from the report he was writing up, he took a long glance out of the floor-to-ceiling office window to his right, noticing his favourite restaurant across the street, Le Château Blanc, whose chef was a specialist in French cuisine to boot. The thought of salmon terrine on peppered crackers and the soft, crisp texture of a well-buttered baguette made his mouth water. Unfortunately it wasn't lunch time yet. More importantly, it reminded him that he had a very important flight to catch later. Finally, Britain would end her political slumber and forge a new path into the world at large, all beginning with this long-awaited meeting with France. 

 

Some hours later, Richard boarded a chartered plane at Heathrow. He would land at Orleans within a couple of hours, where he would make contact with the French.

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The plane was flagged for immediate landing, the French leaders were eager to talk to the British, their first opportunity to do so in many years was sure to be an exciting one. When the plane landed it was almost immediately met with a limo, a girl stepping out who, her superiors had decided, was very good at recieving dignitaries and should thus be given the job full time, "Mister Winters, it's a pleasure to meet you, my name is Aurelie, I'm going to be your guide for your stay." she says in English.

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Richard, his excitement almost overtaking him, snatched up his briefcase and hurried out of his seat towards the exit door. He composed himself and then walked at some pace down the stairway for what would be his first contact with the French government. He nodded at the smart young lady who greeted him, his face naturally beaming with a wide smile, before extending a hand in greeting. "Bonjour madame Aurelie, the pleasure is all mine" Richard said, his accent shifting like quicksand between the two languages, "I must say, I've had great interest for some time now in opening a dialogue between our two countries."

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"I've visited England, it was fairly nice." she says, smiling back at him, "Rainy though. I must say, your accent is impeccable." She hands him her card, "If you ever need anything, call the number here and let me know, I'm always free to drive you around as long as you're here, it's what they're paying me for these days."

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Richard released a chuckle at the guide's remark. "Indeed, English weather is something of an anomaly even to ourselves. And thank you, I have family in Amiens whom I used to visit quite regularly, it's a pleasure learning your language." He took the card and glanced at it for a moment, memorising the details before stashing it in his coat pocket. "My thanks again, with any luck I'll have need of you quite a lot in the months to come." He flashed a wink in her direction as another warm smile spread across Richard's face. Winters was a married man, faithful and unwavering in that faith. But he wanted the woman to know that she was more than just a cog in a machine, that she was actually an important person, at least in Richard's eyes.

 

The Minister now proceeded with pace towards the limousine and stepped inside, adoring the sleek and soft feel of leather beneath his fingers as he moved across a little and sat back. In his mind, business began to dominate his thoughts. "I suppose the first order of the day is to take me to the people who are expecting me."

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Aurelie blushes a bit, unprepared for the mild suggestiveness of the diplomat's implication and choosing, for the time being, to pretend that it simply hadn't happened, "Yes your excellency," She says, her voice not having changed, though she couldn't help that the corners of her mouth had turned up slightly into a smile.

She opens the door for Richard, "Apres vous, votre Excellence."

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Richard smiled as he stared out the window at the storefronts and office buildings that flashed by, as the vehicle weaved in and out of traffic, making its way slowly but ever surely towards a meeting that held great importance for two nations. He decided to use the opportunity to coax some information out of his guide.

 

"I understand that France is currently part of a Mediterranean security force alongside the Italians? I wonder if you might tell me how the French generally view their Italian allies?"

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"Our Italian allies and we have many overlapping concerns and next to no areas of contention, we would say that since the minor point of conflict in Switzerland that our relations have been entirely without stutter. I'm sure that if your government asked to pass through the Mediterranean that your nation would be allowed, it's a countermeasure against the blatant obstructionism of the Red Sea Republic and their allies." she says cordially, "Might I ask why our relations with them are of interest to you? If it's not too much to ask."

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Richard nodded in understanding as the guide went on. The Middle East always seemed to be a troublesome place but these days it looked like they were re-establishing some sense of order. "Indeed. I believe the Alexandrians recently acquired the Suez Canal. Funny place the Middle East...you never quite know what's going to happen."

 

The Minister waved off the guide's last question. "I was merely curious. We've established our own diplomatic process with them and I confess I was searching for the French opinion." Richard turned to the guide and grinned slightly, then looked out of the window once more. The limo's windows were shaded of course, so no-one could see in. But looking out, Richard glimpsed all of the features that made France such a beautiful place to live. Architecturally gorgeous apartment blocks and large houses dominated the streets they passed through, as they entered residential areas and just as quickly left them. Street vendors selling flowers and food attracted many customers on a fine day, with a mix of fashionable-looking teenagers and smartly-dressed businesspersons dominating the streets.

 

As they drew further into the city, Richard pondered additional questions. "I understand there was some nasty business in Asia recently. Were any French subjects adversely affected by that?"

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Aurelie sighs and makes a sour expression, "A few of our tourists I'm sure were killed  in the nuclear hatred being thrown through there." she says, "Worse is the devastation that it has caused our allies in Japan. Millions senselessly dead, for a few islands between the two of them." she pinches the bridge of her nose, "It's all rather stupid if you ask me. France has stayed non-nuclear through the conflict but I'm sure it's only a matter of time before we threaten to nuke the next people who send any of their own at the other."

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Richard grimaced. Perhaps that question had been best left for another conversation. "Well your government has my condolences," he said simply, his voice laced with tones of sincerity. "I certainly agree with you on how pointless the matter is. It makes one wonder if this is what the grim darkness of the future holds". With that, Richard returned to silence. The car trip was quickly coming to an end, as he noticed it entering a car park attached to a large government building. It pulled into a space and shuddered ever so slightly as the engine was turned off. The Minister waited for Aurelie to guide him on to his final destination.

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[spoiler]XS5LK.gif[/spoiler]

Aurelie gets out of the car, holding the door open for the Minister, "Let's just hope that it's the far future and not, say, next Thursday. I never quite got the hang of Thursdays." She leads him up the steps to the main building and opens the door for him, showing the guards at the checkpoints a badge she kept in her wallet that had recently been issued her so that she didn't have to go through all of that rubbish anymore. Eventually she took him to a rather large office and opened the door for him, "The Foreign Minister is waiting for you, good luck."

When he enters, Francoise stood and extended a hand, "Monsieur Winters, a pleasure to meet you in person."

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[spoiler]YES!  :awesome:[/spoiler]

 

Minister Winters stepped out of the car, thanking the guide as he did so. Another smile widened his cheeks at her comment. "Indeed. Let us hope it is also not a Monday in that far future." A light chuckle followed at the reference to a typical British stigma, then the man followed Aurelie up the steps. Once they passed the guards, Richard thanked the guide once again and proceeded to make his way over to Monsieur Francoise.

 

"Please monsieur, the pleasure rests with me," said Richard as he shook the Frenchman's hand, "I am most impressed and pleased thus far with my trip. Myself and the British Cabinet are of course eager to establish quite concrete relations with your Empire."

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Richard sat down opposite his French counterpart. "I will be direct and to the point mon ami. The Federation seeks a high level of relations with the Empire, in an effort to work towards establishing better security for both our nations. We believe each of us has much to offer the other, not just politically but also militarily, economically, even culturally..."

 

Winters shifted in his seat and placed his palms on his knees, getting more relaxed. "In short Francoise, we are prepared to offer a trade and finance pact combined with a defence treaty, to enhance the wellbeing of two great countries."

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Francois looks surprised for a moment before leaning forward, "That's better than I could have reasonably expected. France is willing to take a free trade agreement with Britain, cooperate to refurbish the Channel Tunnel to get it ready for use once more, take a policy of open borders, participate in joint exercises in the channel and elsewhere for security purposes and enter into a Mutual Defense and Optional Aggression pact."

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