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The Lands of Ice & North


Californian
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The rise of Iceland meant a new neighbor for the Northlands. With the recent membership of Iceland in the European Community and dual citizenship of Faroe Islands citizens, the two states were interacting with increased frequency. Taking this opportunity to formally begin bilateral relations between the two nations, a message would be sent inviting Iceland to send a delegation for diplomatic discussions with the Northlands. They would be invited to the capital city of Noordenwind, and all accommodations would be taken care of for their arrival.

Edited by Californian
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Prime Minister Thorgursson readily accepted the invitation and dispatched Iceland's highest diplomat, Foreign Minister Vilhjalmar Gundarsson.  Gundarsson would board a plane (along with a small staff for note taking and clerical assistance) and travel to Noordenwind and met up with their delegation upon his arrival.  He allowed himself to be led to the meeting site and waited with anticipation to meet the representative or representatives from the Northlands.

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Vilhjalmar Gundarsson would be greeted by Royal Officer for Foreign Affairs Alexandre Lemaitre, equivalent in status to a minister of foreign affairs. Lemaitre had recently held high level meetings with France and Portugal, among other nations, and was well versed in the current political climate of western Europe. Lemaitre would enthusiastically greet his counterpart and motion for him and his entourage to sit at the table. 

 

"Mr. Gundarsson, it's a pleasure to meet you. On behalf of the King and the nation of the Northlands, I welcome you to our capital city and hope you had an enjoyable flight. I'm afraid I don't speak Icelandic, it has a reputation for being quite difficult albeit with a long proud heritage," he said with a warm hearted laugh. He knew many languages, as would be expected of a man in his position, but for now he relied on the skilled translator present and his English. 

 

"Please tell me how are things in Iceland? I know you've only recently declared your existence, I hope you are off to a promising start?"

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"I understand, English will be fine, it is my second language," Gundarsson replied with heavy accent.  "As for Iceland, things proceed at a moderate pace, stable growth of infrastructure and governmental, economic, and social systems and institutions.  The population is very small by international---eh, standard?  Standards.  We really don't have a lot of obstacles to deal with since the population is mostly homogenous and small."

 

"Also, I'd like to personally thank your government.  I found it very promising we were able to work together, despite not having a lot of previous diplomatic contact, on the Faroese citizenship motion.  Now, finding it very promising, I am happy to be here.  I assume we will be moving to discuss increasing our ties, or at least our exchange diplomatically.  Did you have anything specific in mind, Officer Lemaitre, or perhaps did you wish to proceed organically and see what comes about?  I am prepared to follow either road."

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"Of course, to the point," he replied to Gundarsson's question. "I find it's often wise to explicitly create some initial ties which can be used as a basis for growth in our cooperation. The Northlands would be open to several measures that would serve us both well, particularly in the realm of economics and culture. 

 

To this end, we would be interested in a free trade agreement, or at the minimum a lowering of tariffs, with Iceland. Exceptions could be made for certain industries that are deemed vital, but overall I think we could do much to promote trade and commerce.

 

Additionally, the Northlands would be interested in lowering or eliminating border controls between our nation. Especially in light of the Faroese people, tourism and trade would be increased by getting rid of the unnecessary restrictions between our nations. We are comfortable with your nation's law enforcement, especially with your recent police and prison reforms, and can remove visa requirements or even institute an open border policy, whatever you find more comfortable.

 

Culturally, the Northlands would be interested in exchange programs of students between our nations. Of course Iceland is welcome to open an embassy in Noordenwind, and the foreign office will be selecting an ambassador to reciprocate such a gesture.

 

In terms of security, much is already formalized through our shared membership in the European Community. However, the Northlands prefers to maintain strong bilateral friendships in addition to these organizational memberships. Perhaps you could describe your goals and plans for national defense, but the Northlands would be willing to pursue an optional defense pact at this time. We could participate in joint exercises, and after time to cement our cooperation we could revisit our level of military ties." Lemaitre paused and allowed Gundarsson to dissect what he had proposed and discuss. 

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"Forgive my forwardness, but I very much like these ideas."  Gundarsson motioned to his aide for a run down of the proposals so that he could respond to each respectively and in kind.

 

"Our government currently has no protectionist measures in place, save for one measure to prevent foreign monopolies, but we also have domestic monopoly laws as well, so its more of a status quo than protectionish measure.  We are open to the elimination of tariffs between our two nations, so that we can promote increased trade.  I think in the long run this could be very beneficial for both of our economies. 

 

I also agree on the lowering of border controls.  I would be open to creating an open border zone between Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and the Northlands mainland, possibly applying to the Northlands other offshore holdings in the future.  If your government were amendable to this, this would remove visa requirements travelling between these areas.

 

Let me see, third we would have culture exchange programs.  This is something that particularly piques my interest.  I belive we should reciprocate embassies at the close of this meeting and begin cultural exhange programs.  We would be happy to begin cultural exchange for our students, and I believe that this would be great for the young people of our nations."

 

Gundarsson shuffled his papers and continued, "On defense, I'll answer your question about our national defense goals and plans.  None of this is very sensitive information, we are currently developing.  We are planning on expanding national defense and create a standing army, a process to begin in the upcoming days.  We do not plan on expanding our military-industrial complex, but defense of our nation will be the focus.  Our foreign policy is very anti-war and we would do everything we could diplomatically to prevent one, but we would not have a problem signing an optional defense pact with the Northlands.  I believe our nations are growing close and will continue to do so.  If the worst should happen, Iceland would stand with the Northlands.

 

Joint exercises would be beneficial and starting with the optional defense would be for the best.  You are correct, these can always be revisited at a later time.  It seems we are in agreement on what we wish for this diplomatic relationship."

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Iceland and Northlands Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation

 

In the spirit of friendship and cooperation, Iceland and the Northlands agree to the following provisions laid out in the mutually-agreed upon pact. Both nations remain fully sovereign states and sign this treaty in the hopes that better relations may be attained for the greater peace, prosperity, and good of these two nations.

 

Article I. Trade

 

Both Iceland and the Northlands agree to promote trade between one another. Each state will endeavor to lower any tariffs or fees on trade of products and industries between the two nations, bar those considered necessary for vital national interests or those industries which have been granted exception. The nations pledge to work together to achieve this, preferably through reciprocation of changes in commerce regulation and oversight.

 

Article II. Nonaggression & Intelligence Sharing

 

Both Iceland and the Northlands agree to a pact of non-aggression, and will not interfere or step into the soil of the other nation when not specifically requested. Nor will either signatory illegally spy, destabilize, or in any other way attempt to bring harm to the other. Iceland and the Northlands agree to disclose and share any relevant intelligence and information.

 

Article III.Optional Defense

 

Both Iceland and the Northlands reserve the right to defend each other from foreign aggression. Should either nation find themselves engaged in a defensive war, the other is encouraged, although not required, to provide aid, including economic and military, needed to support and defend the other.  

 

Article IV. Border Policy

 

Both Iceland and the Northlands agree to institute an open border policy between Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and the Northlands mainland. 

 

Article V. Cultural Exchange

 

Both Iceland and the Northlands shall undertake appropriate steps, actions, and policies to encourage and facilitate increased cultural interaction between their respective peoples. Such policies include, but are not limited to, the implementation of study-abroad programs, the relaxation of visa regimes, and other related measures.

 

Article VI. Termination

 

Should either Iceland or the Northlands feel this treaty no longer serves the purpose for which it is intended, they may notify the other of their intention to cancel. Such notification must be communicated three weeks (OOC: 72 hours) in advance. 

 

 

"This is excellent to hear," Lemaitre would say in response. Based on their discussion, he motioned for an aide who had been transcribing the meeting to prepare suitable drafts of an agreement which would be provided to both parties in the room. 

 

"Once our meeting has concluded the Offices of Trade and Homeland Affairs will soon be directed to start the implementation of measures relating to the lowering of tariffs and the opening of borders and cultural exchange. This process should start once the treaty has been formally ratified by the High Council and King William. The Office of Security will get in contact with your defense ministry to begin cooperation and exercises."

 

Soon the drafts were prepared and handed out. "Please, let me know your thoughts and if there's anything else you would like to include and change." 

Edited by Californian
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Gundarsson received his copy of the treaty and perused it.  After finishing, he replied, "Very good.  My signature will carry the full weight needed for the treaty to be binding to Iceland.  Of course, like your nation, the treaty must be ratified upon my return, but it will be the first order of business and I assure that it will be passed.  The treaty contains all the goals I was sent to accomplish here."

 

With that, Gundarsson provided his signature:

 

Foreign Minister of the Republic of Iceland,

Vilhjalmar Gundarsson

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