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The Canal Summit


Captain Enema
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A message is sent requesting the participation of Babylon, Anden, and the Cape for an electronic summit pertaining to the issue of the the Suez Canal and the fiery collapse of the Red Sea Republic. Major General Jebbidah Denard, standing in for King Beckwith, sits in front of his computer and fiddles with the web camera. A few choice words later and he manages to get the cursed thing to work. Once the conference he is ready, he quietly waits for the others to come online.

 

 

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Ioannes Palaiologos tapped his computer's webcam. "Is this thing on? Hello? Can you see me?" He made a funny face, checking his computer's feed to ensure that it indeed was transmitted. He smiled into his camera. "Testing, one two, one two, can everyone hear me?" After a few confirmations, he sat back and awaited for the conference to begin. 

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"The Empire holds the opinion that the Suez becomes a jointly administered set of facilities between ourselves, Axum and Alexandria. We hold a keen view that from a strategic perspective, the Suez remains under some form of Imperial authority. As for the French and Italians, we do not want military shipping going through the canal from either of those nations, not without plenty of advance notification of intent and destination. Civilian shipping should remain unmolested unless law enforcement agencies have real, legitimiate reasons to stop and search vessels, something that must be backed up in a court of law I might add to prevent any provocation towards other European powers."

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"Given the provocative nature of this security force they have established, sending naval forces in significant forces into our area of operations and influence, we would in all honestly prefer them not to have a reason to be sending such military forces into our sphere. A navy is a show of force, a tool of force projection and in some cases intimidation."

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"The security force is a reaction to the prevention of French forces through the canal. The escalation on their part is unfortunate but at some point negotiation and moderation must play a role in all of our decision making processes. I again see no reason to trouble ourselves with them expanding their influence outside of Africa and the Indian Ocean region. They've a right to commerce and enriching their citizens through trade. Part of trade is protecting their interests through force of arms if necessary. Perhaps an alternative to allay concerns would be allowing them transit rights providing their radars are fully powered down for the entirety of their progress through the canal."

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"Lets argue that point visa versa. Would Axum blind itself when traversing Gibraltar given the present tensions? The Empire wouldn't, and it will never sign an agreement which places our warships into a vunerable situation. I have never said that civilian traffic would be stopped, and the Empire has said in statements several times, that only military traffic is affected." came the response.

 

"Security is not an issue in the Suez or Red Sea region, so they have no need to position naval forces in the area. As far as allowing the transit of military vessels, I return to my previous suggestion of so long as they provide ample notification and a destination and follow standard protocol for warships travelling during peacetime, I see no issue."

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"The Straits of Galb are hardly a canal, it is an international waterway. The fact of the matter being, the Italians have made illusion to the fact they will attempt to interfere with passage of warships through that Strait, which is an international waterway as a direct response towards your policies. As long as it is made clear that this policy stems from your nation, the Kingdom of Axum has nothing further to concern itself over. Should the Italians and French seek to block your passage through the Straits of Galb, we wish you well."

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Ioannes listened carefully to the conversation playing out between the Legionnaire and Babylonian representatives. Once the conversation had lulled and his response was inquired about, he cleared his throat and sat up, staring forward into the camera. "I'll be frank with you gentlemen, especially because I believe that for Alexandria specifically, our futures are all intertwined. Alexandria is a small nation. I think we can all agree on that. Aside from the ethical duty we have to help people near us in need, the Suez offers lucrative economic possibilities from taxing the ships that commercially move through. I believe that this income will be extremely beneficial to Alexandria, and give our economy a much needed boost. With that in mind, Alexandria will continue to be the sole operator of the Suez. 

 

That being said, I do believe that with us retaining administrative duties, certain responsibilities fall upon Alexandria in regards to how we implement our canal policies. The first being that all commercial and civilian ships are allowed to pass through the canal, for a fee of course. In regards to military ships, only a few conditions must be met to allow them passage. One, being that they must not interfere with Alexandrian interests. Two, given probable cause, they are allowed to be searched by Alexandria. And finally, three, no military ship may pass through with the intent of infringing upon African nations' sovereignty. 

 

I would be willing to extend an act of friendship to both Axum and Babylon, given their close proximity with Alexandria and the wish to work together and cooperate with our neighbors, that should your military vessels require movement through the Suez, and they meet the three aforementioned conditions, there will be no fees associated." 

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"The Kingdom of Axum has no issue with these conditions and we were already under the impression the Canal administratively and in deed belonged to Alexandria. I speak for all Legionnaires when I say there isn't a single one of us who would say otherwise."

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Ioannes clapped his hands together. "Excellent! I'll be making a public announcement about the new Canal policies within the week. Unless there is anything else to discuss, I bid you gentlemen good day," and with that, he signed off. 

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