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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)
LocationHwarezm, Uluujol
Effective1 January 1974 (1974-01-01)
ConditionSignature of Sydalene and Yisraeli heads of state and ratification by respective national legislatures
Signatories
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 Hwarezm, Uluujol, that ended the 80-year West Scipian Contention 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 1968 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 February 1968. By August 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 North Ottonia

In February 1969, after exchanging preliminary discussions of the Benayoun Plan for two months, both countries sent delegations led by their foreign ministers to Innsboro, North Ottonia, 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. North Ottonian Premier Eleonur Hendrsunn personally intervened in an attempt to salvage the talks, but the two sides remained too far apart and too distrusting to continue. 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 Garima, who had become the de facto mediator on behalf of Sydalon, indicated that the Sydalene 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 Yisraeli concerns over foreign military basing in Sydalon. The Yisraelis agreed to another summit in the summer.

Ghish Summit I

In August 1969, the parties arrived in Ghish, Ghant to resolve the specific listed issues from the April communication. The summit started off contentious: the Sydalenes outright refused the Yisraeli demand that all foreign military bases be removed, sparking mutual accusations between each country of the other trying to "weaken" the other in future conflicts by drawing in more powerful military allies. 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, Garima), 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 November 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 Sydalene 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 Belfras) and a naval base (Arthurista), and that Sydalon had foreign "missions" located elsewhere within 75 miles of the border.

When questioned on the "foreign missions," the Yisraeli delegation raised the point of the Christian military orders as foreign or quasi-foreign bases. Cohen-Golan argued that the Order of the Holy Lance, based in Petra, the Order of Saint Joseph, based in Sydalon City, Fabria, and the Order of the Sacred Chalice, based in Sydalene Yarden were all loyal to the Monarchy of Sydalon or Fabria, which due to historical and strategic ties would always back Sydalon, thus constituting powerful foreign-like military bases near the border to Yisrael. Bezzina strenuously objected to the point, saying Fabria was a independent polity and may not always back Sydalon in a future conflict.

The Sydalene delegate then brought up the Latin bases in Vescera, Sydalon and Scipia Periclea (off the northeast coast of Sydalon and directly north of Yisrael), charging that due to current Sydalo-Latin ties over the dynastic disagreements over Sydalene Queen Elissa IV with Garza and Latium, that Latium could use its northeastern bases in the future to invade or threaten Sydalon and ally with Yisrael in such a case. The Ghantish hosts brought in Michael Claudius from Latium to address the issue in a private meeting with just Cohen-Golan and Bezzina. According to transcripts just recently declassified, Claudius scoffed at the Sydalene demand that the Latins demilitarize Scipia Periclea and abandon the base in Vescera. Over the course of several meeting between the three men and countless communications to their leaderships at home, the trio struck the secret "Scipia Periclea deal" where Latium pledged and Yisrael affirmed that, in the event of future Sydalo-Latin conflict, Yisrael would not involve itself in the conflict. In return, Sydalon abandoned its demands that Latium demilitarize or abandon its bases in Vescera and the SA islands. All three governments accepted this gentlemen's agreement.

Back in the delegation talks, the Yisraelis posited a 150-mile border limit and four foreign or quasi-foreign bases or "missions." The Sydalene refused to entertain it, standing on their definition of the military orders as "non-foreign" and not aligned with the Sydalene Royal Defense Forces. 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 75 miles of the border. Yisrael dropped its demand on Fabria and its associated order as a "foreign mission" in return for Sydalon recognizing the Holy Lance and Sacred Chalice orders as "comparable to allied foreign missions."

On November 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 in January 1970, 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

Shortly thereafter in December 1969 and into January 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 the January 7, 1970 elections, Benayoun's Con-Lib Knesset majority dropped from 96 to 77 (out of 142), 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. After the Knesset session began, opponents of the peace talks rallied in the media to stale further discussions by the hamstrung administration.

In March 1970, Conservative Minority Leader Kobi Gavriel (MK-Beersheva) alleged in a media interview that Benayoun had agreed to a "secret provision" that would permit the Latins to re-militarize 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 June 1970.

In a July 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 August, 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.

No more talks or communications commenced for the rest of 1970.

1971

Ghish Summit II

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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