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On a cold rainy runway in Calgari


Maelstrom Vortex
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Not far from the jet and still on the runway awaited roughly half-a-dozen diplomats, while there were twice as many security personnel securing them. All of them held tight to their umbrellas, given the weather had decided to play foul with the city.

"Greetings, Chairman.", saluted Samuel Neto, Secretary-General of the Ministry of External Affairs. "Please, come this way, we already have our vehicles ready to bring you to the meeting with our Prime Minister. It should take about fifteen minutes."

So the diplomatic staff, along with the security men, escorted the Chairman out of the runaway, into the airport's main building. Because the Aeroporto Internazionale di Calgari was Viniland's busiest, it was inevitable that the group of men and women containing one of the leaders of the world's strongest nation would get a lot of curious looks and a plethora flashes coming from cameras owned by relentless journalists. However, due to proper planning, the path was clear for the team to leave the airport without delays.

Outside, two white limousines awaited the arrival of the Chairman and the diplomats. Both of them were nationally manufactured, were EMP-proof and primarily ran on Hydrogen cell fuel (as well as being able to accommodate electric batteries, natural gas and regular gasoline). The group split in two, with the Chairman three diplomats (including Samuel Neto) and six security men going to the first limo, and the rest going to the second one.

The trip to the destination took roughly ten minutes. No serious talks took place within the limo, with the staff and the Chairman limiting themselves to questions about each other's nations, and some economics, current issues and politics as well. On the outside and all along the way, small crowds gathered on the sidewalks to cheer the arrival of the foreign leader. The traffic was flowing quite well, given that most Calgari residents opted to not employ cars but instead use the city's thorough, reliable and clean public transportation system.

The destination, which was a three-story neomodern convention center, received the Chairman as the limos stopped by and dropped off its occupants. The visitor was guided inside the building and into the spacious room where Pasquale Bianchi awaited him.

The room was a somewhat big one, dominated by a wooden, oval table by its center and capable of comfortable accommodating thirty people. The walls were of carefully polished, bright brown wood and they were somewhat empty, with only a handful of frames of past Vinilandese figures and a number of flags stuck to them.

As the folks took their respective seats, Pasquale Bianchi formally greeted the Chairman. The meeting was now on.

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"Mr. Bianchi I wish to thank you for the very warm reception I have received here firstly despite the coldness of the weather and climate, I still feel somewhat at home emotionally." He chuckled. "I apologize for the many delays, but Asia has been.. unusually problematic. Anyhow, to business. I have come here to discuss tightening diplomatic ties between Viniland and the Empire. We have no interests in expansion, we're settled in Asia, and we have arguably one of the largest economic co-operatives in the oriental sphere. That said, we've a lot to offer. What we want to know is how much you would like to participate in this boon and upon what conditions."

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ooc: Bump? :-P V! Read! Respond! :-P

OOC:Sorry, today was a busy day. :(

IC:

"I apologize, Chairman, for Calgari's frigid weather. It takes a while for the summer to settle in, and it tends to do so too late, either way. Oh well, at least it's warmer at the capital...", chuckled Bianchi "Either way... us, the Vinilandese, are always in when there's an economic opportunity - particularly if it is mutually beneficial - we like it when everyone's happy, you know? It doesn't mean we let our profits margins drop because of that. Do talk about more of the "boon" you speak of - but in principle, if the soil is fertile - or there is a chance for it to become such - then we're in."

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"Well, my plans were this.. an economic treaty. We forbid tariffs and quotas on trade that can be exploited by either of our national governments in order to unseal trade barriers. Force our people to compete, there are going to be areas where each of our economies are more efficient than the other based on structure of government, terrain, and climate. If we specialize both our states come out ahead. You get the cheapest of what we're best at. We get the cheapest of what your state is best at."

"I'll have to run the final agreement by congress, but they almost always are on board with open trade. Atop this economic treaty, we slap a non-aggression or mutual defense pact as we have an interest in the safety of each others economies as contributors to our national security. We will be providing things that your state needs and vice-versa, so it makes logical sense we protect our assets. What do you think so far?"

Maelstrom asked as he quietly took a seat across from Bianchi at his desk.

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"Ah, the concept of opportunity cost... I am very glad that the Empire is fully conscious of it. Indeed, free trade invariably brings benefits to all parties involved whether if they realize it or not. Of course we would be interested in striking down any trade barrier there is with your nation and ensure our trade is as unrestricted as possible.

We would love for the potential treaty to have a non-aggression pact on top of it, but unfortunately, we must decline the offer for a mutual defense pact. Our current policy of non-belligerence includes signing no military-binding treaty."

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"Not a problem. The Empire have met many with that preference, and we respect it. The world is full of controversy and there is no reason to be unnecessarily embroiled in it when it is far away from your home. Our neighbor Palintine is of like fashion. We try to avoid controversy ourselves, but the position we're in leaves us little choice but to deal with such in an almost routine fashion. It comes for us, we do not go after it. All the same, based on your statements....." He was tapping away on his PDA as he talked.. "How does this look?"

1. The Signatories of this treaty agree not to make war with each other, even should other treaties activate which might draw them into conflict in doing so, national sovereignty and economic partnership are recognized.

2. The Signatories of this agreement affirm they shall not tax imports or exports from the other member states, nor shall they level fees or quotas of any regard against their shipping, transit or trade. The commercial vessels and craft of each state will have free access to the domains of the signatories and capital markets shall be permitted to interface at all levels.

3. As part of respect of national sovereignty, both nations agree never to own more than 49% of the commercial equity in either sovereign domain.. granting neither the capacity to achieve economic control over the other.

"If you like what you see, I'll wire this to Anthony Davis and get the legislature to seal the agreement." He slid the PDA in front of Bianchi.

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"I'm open to that, can you define the proposed 4th clause?"

"Facilitation of travel between our countries, essentially. Things such as relaxing or dropping visa requirements, lessened security checks for flights coming from a signatory's country and the suchlike... maybe even an extradition clause may be useful to add, although it might never be used."

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"Hrmm.. well.. as you may know.. we have very tight anti-terrorism policies in Dragonisia and throughout the Empire. There was even a point to where most states wouldn't even allow commercial traffic because we would not let a flight enter our airspace or our terminals without being pre-inspected prior to take off at the point of origination for terrorist attacks."

"We're willing to lessen the requirements in this way.. your teams could do the work and we will not send a full team to do the search, but one sole adviser and monitor per each of your inspection teams in order to ensure that our security concerns are addressed before a flight left the ground. If you can tolerate this joint-task force of sorts then we can definitely do a mobility clause. We don't have very heavy visa restrictions, but we're willing to allow a free flow of labor and work force personnel as well as the extradition clause. We agree, not likely to be used, but you never know when it may become a concern. Standard diplomatic immunities would of course apply to extradition. Trying to get us to extradite high level government personnel would be silly. We doubt it would happen, but we don't want it to be enabled by legal mechanism sjust in case." He begins to draft a proposal on the PDA.

1. The Signatories of this treaty agree not to make war with each other, even should other treaties activate which might draw them into conflict in doing so, national sovereignty and economic partnership are recognized.

2. The Signatories of this agreement affirm they shall not tax imports or exports from the other member states, nor shall they level fees or quotas of any regard against their shipping, transit or trade. The commercial vessels and craft of each state will have free access to the domains of the signatories and capital markets shall be permitted to interface at all levels.

3. As part of respect of national sovereignty, both nations agree never to own more than 49% of the commercial equity in either sovereign domain.. granting neither the capacity to achieve economic control over the other.

4. Extradition of criminals as convicted in the signatories' courts is a requirement. Each criminal must be given a chance to defend themselves in the state justice system in the presence of a lawyer and by a jury trial of peers from both nations. Extradition of government officials is forbidden without the express consent of the executive branch of each government.

5. Citizens are permitted to move fluidly between the states in terms of labor participation, visas will be granted on the most lenient terms possible for immigrants to a signatory's domain in order for them to find employment and if they wish to say, citizenship procedures will be expedited as much as each government can permit within its own processes.

6. Commercial travel inspections security will be minimized to what each state deems necessary for its own defense against terrorism and joint-cooperation between domestic security forces of each signatory will be mandated in order to facilitate the proper inspection and clearance of such craft in accordance to the destination state's security laws.

7. The private education systems of each state will be fully open to inter-state students and visitations will be facilitated by the cultural departments of each state, enabling students to broaden their horizons, see more of the world, and learn about the customs of each state. In order to keep the private education systems of any signatory from being overwhelmed.. market measures will be used to keep the utility rate of the education systems under control.. meaning that normal education pricing will apply.

"There, that should remove the heavy restrictions on our transit systems and allow for our people to get to know each other a lil better and to migrate where they're needed most. What do you think about this? Want to go further? Maybe some cultural and educational exchange programs as I suggest in article 7? And note that basically what it means is if someone from the Empire wanted to go to college for a term in Viniland or vice versa.. they'd have equal access and the costs would be the same as if they were a domestic student. "

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OOC: Got some breathing room.

IC: "Looks like a very fine treaty, although we would of course have to run it through our Parliament first, as well as hear feedback from the population at large, particularly the private education community. In regards to educational exchanges, it sounds like an interesting idea, although we cannot quite foresee placing domestic fees to students coming from the Dragon Empire. After all, most post-secondary institutions in Viniland receive taxpayer money, and a lot of people would be upset at that. It's something that could be considered, though, after this treaty is signed and our population and government gets to know each other better.

We will lay down our signatures, but the treaty may only be enforced when our elected legislature (and yours as well, I'd reckon) approves of it; a recognizable stamp will be sent; our King was informed of this meeting beforehand but he could not make it, but he gave permission for his signature and the royal seal to be used in whatever treaty was signed with the Dragon Empire."

Signed for Regno de Vinilândia (Kingdom of Viniland):

Vicente d'Albuquerque, Monarch

Pasquale Bianchi, Prime Minister

Samuel Neto, Secretary-General of External Affairs

The Vinilandese Parliament (stamp pending) (OOC: Take the brackets off when it's posted up or whatever)

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"Very well, understood, we'll run it through our legislature now." He emailed the document to Davis on his blackberry network.

"Great. We have the document typed up as well as we spoke, and it will be informed to our Speaker of the House - we ought to have a voting on it by tomorrow, while we get some feedback from the population.

It was a very pleasurable and productive meeting, Chairman.", spoke the Prime Minister as he got up from his chair, "I'd reckon we're done, for now. May our staff escort you back to the airport, or do you wish to stick around for a longer while?"

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"Given there's a possibility the signing could begin as early as tomorrow.. perhaps you could recommend a nice hotel? Something with a jacuzzi. This skin needs very special treatment..." He plucks a bit at what can only be described as a loose, leathery gray scale.

"Sure - the Fairmont Palliser Hotel is only a five minutes walk from here, and is a very luxurious hotel, with jacuzzis in suites and top-notch rooms, along with a cosmopolitan availability of food. It'll all be billed to the Ministry of External Affairs, of course."

fairmontcal.jpg

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"Thanks for the accommodations. It may go into an extended stay.. I'm hearing word it may be unsafe for me to return home at this time and expose myself unnecessarily to the pandemic that may be breaking out there."

"Oughtn't to be a problem. My condolences to what may happen to the Empire, though - Malaria is a disease that is difficult to fight already, can't imagine how tough it will be with the rise of a new strain."

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"Well, our doctors and scientists are hard at work.. still.. I've already heard of an entire town dead.. it's not looking good."

"That most certainly does not bode well. Maybe it's just me, but wouldn't it be more suitable if you returned to your country, to a safe locality and attempted to coordinate contention efforts? Just so that your people don't feel "abandoned" when there's disease running around."

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"It's only until my doctors can evaluate whether or not my unique cell structure would be at any additional or less risk of infection. We'll know by tommorrow after the signing ceremony hopefully occurs." He heads off to the hotel...

## The next day ##

Word is passed to the Legislature and government of Viniland that the Dragonisian Legislature has approved the treaty and that the Chairman has been authorized to sign at the signing ceremony if the Legislature of Viniland agrees to the terms therein.

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