Yarden Accords

Yarden Accords
Accords between Sydalon and Yisrael Regarding Permanent Peace, Resolution of the Bilateral Border, Settlement of the Yarden River Valley Dispute, and Other Matters
TypePeace treaty
Signed18 November 1973 (1973-11-18)
LocationOstracine, Sydalon
Effective1 January 1974 (1974-01-01)
ConditionSignature of Sydalene and Yisraeli heads of state and ratification by respective national legislatures
SignatoriesSydalon Sydalon
(Main party signatory)
Yisrael Yisrael
(Main party signatory)
Arthurista Arthurista
(Guaranteeing power (Yisrael))
Vannois Vannois
(Guaranteeing power (Sydalon))
Latium Latium
(Guaranteeing power (Sydalon))
Aegion Tarsas
(Guaranteeing power (Yisrael))
Ghant Ghant
(Jointly-agreed witnessing power)
LanguagesLatin, Sydalene, Hebrew, Allamunnic Anglic

The Yarden Accords (Long name: The Accords between Sydalon and Yisrael Regarding Permanent Peace, Resolution of the Bilateral Border, Settlement of the Yarden River Valley Dispute, and Other Matters) is a peace treaty signed by the Kingdom of Sydalon and the Kingdom of Yisrael on November 18th, 1973 in Ostracine, Sydalon, that ended the 80-year West Scipian Cold War between both nations and established cordial foreign relations between both states that lasts until the present. Because of both countries' geostrategic locations at the nexus of Belisaria, Scipia, and the Eastern Thalassan Ocean, as well as the Great Power geopolitical patrons behind each country, the Accords have broader geopolitical and historical impact and importance that transcends being a regional peace treaty. The treaty has spawned a litany of opposition based on pan-nationalist, religious, and foreign policy grounds.

Background

West Scipian Wars

Peace process

The peace negotiations were conducted over a five-year period (1968-73).

1968

Peace offer and the Benayoun Plan

President of Yisrael Boaz Benayoun, elected in the 1966 presidential election on the theme of "finding peace with Sydalon for our time," established a presidential committee to draft what a comprehensive peace plan could look like after taking office in January 1967. By July 1968, the committee had submitted a hundred-page "white paper" plan to Benayoun.

Benayoun approached the government of Arthurista, who passed the proposed offer and plan to Latium, who gave it to the Sydalenes. After several months of no reply, in November 1968, Sydalene First Secretary Anna de Brinkat du Duminka sent an official letter to President Benayoun delivered by hand by her Foreign Minister Belandra de Magro accepting the offer to begin peace negotiations.

1969

Failed summit in Fakolanum

In January 1969, after exchanging preliminary discussions of the Benayoun Plan for two months, both countries sent delegations led by their foreign ministers to Fakolanum, Fakolana, where each side presented modified versions of the Benayoun Plan to the other over the course of a month. Despite initial optimism, hard-line negotiations led to accusations by each side of behaving in "bad faith," leading to a breakdown in a willingness to continue to engage in negotiations. Both parties withdrew from the summit after only 23 days of the 30-day summit.

After a three-month pause, notes passed between Arthurista and Latium indicated that the Sydalenes would be amenable to continuing direct negotiations specifically on the most fraught issues: the possible border crossings, contention over the fixture of the border itself, protections for Christians and Jews (respectively) that refuse to leave each side of the Yarden Valley, as well as specific Sydalene concerns over foreign military basing in Yisrael. The Yisraelis agreed to another summit in the summer.

Ghish Summit I

In June, the parties arrived in Ghish, Ghant to resolve the specific listed issues from the April communication. The summit started off contentious: the Yisraelis outright refused the Sydalene demand that all foreign military bases be removed, sparking Sydalene accusations of Yisrael "weakening Sydalon" in future conflicts. The Ghantish hosts intervened and requested that the parties adjourn for a day and return to discuss the other issues. Both parties agreed.

The day after that, they reconvened and addressed prospective border crossing sites. After three days of in-depth talks, consulting with each sides' on-hand geographers, each side provisionally agreed to open two additional border checkpoints, one in the far east and one in the far west of the bilateral border.

Two days later, there was further agreement that the permanent fixed border line would be determined by a committee of 2 Yisraelis, 2 Sydalenes, and one geographer appointed from each geopolitical patron (Arthurista, Latium), as well as one potential "tie-breaker" and committee chairman from Ghant.

In the second week, each side cautiously began to discuss the framework regarding religious minorities left in the "wrong" side of the Yarden Valley. The Sydalenes offered a mandatory population swap - all Sydalene Christians for all Sydalene Jews - which was summarily rejected by Yisrael. They then offered a 1:1 exchange, which was tentatively considered by both sides until lawyers for both pointed out the issues under customary international law with forced population transfers. Yisraeli chief negotiator Eyal Cohen-Golan suggested incentivized voluntary swaps, to which his Sydalene counterpart Gabriel Bezzina tentatively agreed. There was further agreement that those remaining would be granted full citizenship (if not already) and have all full rights under the controlling state if they choose to stay.

Lastly, to avoid the previous fight, Cohen-Golan and Bezzina talked privately in seclusion on the foreign military basing issue. While they could not fully resolve the issue, they agreed that each side would agree that a limited number of foreign military bases or their equivalent would be permitted by each party, to be decided at a later date.

The parties signed the Ghish Summit Provisional Agreement on Select Items Memorandum to codify their agreement. Another conference was agreed to for October 1969.

San Gianpiero Summit

The parties reconvened in San Gianpiero, Sante Reze. The conference was to specifically find a framework on foreign military basing. Going off the Ghish Memorandum, the parties had agreed that foreign military basing would be permitted, but limited by number and its nature to be determined to the satisfaction of the parties.

The Sydalenes initially offered a one-for-one deal with each country having one joint naval-army-air force foreign base on its territory, at least 50 miles from the border. The Yisraelis protested, pointing out that Yisrael had two army-air force bases (one from Arthurista, the other from Tarsas) and a naval base (Tarsas), and that Sydalon had one foreign naval base near the city of Aihal, army-air force bases of Latium, Fabria, and Vannois located elsewhere within 75 miles of the border. The Yisraelis countered with a limit of four bases of any kind and a 25-mile border limit; the Sydalenes refused to entertain it.

The parties, after several days of off-and-on discussions, came to a provisional deal of 3:3, where each side could maintain three foreign military bases within 60 miles of the border. In return for Sydalon's ally Fabria demilitarizing Sancti Aventini off the Periclean coast (directly north of key shipping lanes out of Dervaylik, Yisrael), Yisrael would drop its demand for a 50-mile perimeter and up it to a compromise of 60 miles against Sydalon's 75-mile initial position. On October 28th, the parties signed the San Gianpiero Corollary signifying agreement to the negotiated terms.

Opposition rises in domestic politics of Sydalon, Yisrael

However, domestic reaction to the corollary sparked fiery opposition inside Yisraeli domestic politics. Hawks inside the Conservatives as well as Benayoun's own Constitutional Liberals loudly protested the deal as a "betrayal" and a "massive national security failure." With the approaching 1970 Knesset midterm elections, the Benayoun administration was hamstrung between doves and hawks both in and outside of the government. The political right was energized in opposition to the corollaries, believing Benayoun was "fecklessly" entrapping Yisrael in a situation where Sydalon could easily use foreign forces inside its borders to overwhelm border regions in a future war. The far right took to the streets with rallies and street protests angrily claiming the corollary deal would hem the nation's security in too tight if Sydalon betrayed the prospective peace. The political center and center-left - unusually very hawkish because of the recent war with Sydalon - also concurred, concerned about the security implications of the San Gianpiero Corollary.

Likewise, inside Sydalene politics, opposition was immediate from the right-wing and far-right, who argued both inside and out- of the Senate of Sydalon that the corollary made Sydalon give up an allied base for what they felt was a negligible, if it even was one, Yisraeli concession. In December of 1969, the National Legion for Prosperity and Unification, a far-right party, led a rally in downtown Philippopolis that attracted a crowd of over 100,000 protestors in opposition to the proposed side-deal.

1970

The Lost Year

By January and February 1970, public polling showed the Yisraeli public - including swing-vote independents - coming out against the announced corollaries of the emerging peace deal. Several polls at the time showed opposition hovering in the high 50s and low 60s, while support hovered around the 40% mark.

In Sydalon, skepticism and concern simmered in the First Secretary's Conservative majority about the utility of the corollary and its impact on the Crusader State's security situation.

In March, Conservative Minority Leader Kobi Gavriel (MK-Beersheva) alleged in a media interview that Benayoun had agreed to a "secret provision" that would permit the Fabrians to remilitarize Sancti Aventini at a later date without any corresponding gain for Yisrael. The accusation outraged Benayoun, who denounced and denied the charge, but his initial delay and seeming waffling in the face of such an unexpected challenge made many feel that Gavriel may have been onto something, and the political class debated on television and radio if Benayoun was so "desperate" for peace as to give the Sydalenes a secret favorable condition. The Conservatives and far-right rallied upon the Benayoun's missteps and failure to immediately deny the charge, and polling showed the public opposition continued to rise, hitting a hit of 72% in May 1970.

In a June press conference, the President of Yisrael made a gaffe when he said that San Gianpiero Corollary "wasn't set in stone," drawing a strong rebuke from the Sydalene Government. This cascaded into increasing doubts in the du Duminka Cabinet, whose confidants openly wondered if Benayoun actually wanted a peace deal. Finally, in July, Benayoun sent an official note to du Duminka through Loweport reconfirming that the agreed-to agreements would be honored but that "due to present domestic political events," if Sydalon would agree to "a pause" in the peace process as "upcoming elections would settle" the peace timeline. The du Duminka Government agreed.

In the November 1970 elections in Yisrael, Benayoun's Con-Lib Knesset majority dropped from 80 to 64 (out of 120), including the election of several hawkish Liberals who campaigned as being skeptical or opposed to the peace plan as it stood. The press declared the Benayoun Plan as "dead on arrival" in the new Knesset.

1971

1972

1973

Provisions of the Accords

The Accords resolved all substantive disputes and lingering issues between both powers.

  • The formal end of the West Scipian Cold War
    • Normalization of diplomatic relations.
    • Statements by both parties agreeing that this treaty would satisfy all land claims and other territorial disputes, and that neither would continue an atmosphere of hostility or paranoia about the other; while relations would naturally ebb and flow over time, each nation would seek to maintain peaceful relations and avoid conflict or war in the future.
  • The normalization of trade relations

Post-Accords implementation

Border control

The Ben David Memorandum (negotiated in late November and early December of 1973) laid out a cooperative stance between both countries on border control and creating the agreed-upon new border crossings. To facilitate trust between the two formerly hostile border guard services - the Sydalene Royal Marshals and the Royal Yisraeli Border Guard - a new, jointly-run "appeal committee" to handle disputes would be created: the Border Control Board. The BCB would be run by an even mix of Yisraeli and Sydalene representatives, with a yearly rotation of the chairmanship between each country. The organization would hear all disputes, complaints, and violations at the border.

Although the rest of the 1970s were marked by a number of small disputes and quarrels, by the mid-to-late 1980s both sides generally agreed that the BCB structure had built trust between both border security services.

Diplomatic recognition

By December 1973, each nation had named an ambassador-elect to take their post upon January 1st, 1974. However, the period of less-than-six-weeks between the signing and implementation left little time to find and prepare an embassy in the other's capital city.

In addition, the West Scipian Cold War had left several Sydalene allies without diplomatic representation in Yisrael - leading to what would become known as the so-called "embassy boom" in Yerushalayim as the governments of Sydalon, Fabria, Ascalzar, and others rushed to establish diplomatic missions. Others, such as Latium, worked quickly to upgrade their embassies. This embassy-building boom generally took place between November 1973 and January 1975.

By 1975, both Sydalon and Yisrael had fully-operational embassies in each other's capitals. The rush of new diplomats and other foreign officials even engendered the (later) West Scipian Railway's Yerushalayim-Didapolis Line as the "Diplomat Line" for its extensive use by diplomatic officers to this day.

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Yisrael

Sydalon

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See also