[Byzantine League]Council of the Byzantine League

Bordering the sea, Elpida Palace in the heart of Istanbul has been designated as the headquarters of the Council of the Byzantine League as well as the Supreme Allied Command, Mediterranean Trade Commission and any future bodies of the League. As a former Ottoman palace it is well suited and easily fortified. For the protection the Byzantine Guard has been appointed, existing of experienced and elite personnel from each of the member armed forces. The area has been declared a restricted flight zone enforced by the Hellenic Air Force as well as a naval exclusion zone enforced by the Hellenic Navy. The building has been renovated to provide offices and other facilities for all personnel, as well as living quarters for ambassadors who do not desire to live elsewhere in Byzantion.

Treaty of Byzantion on the Security of and Cooperation Between Mediterranean States
Treaty on the Founding of the Byzantine League

The MEMBERS;

RECOGNIZING the need for active cooperation within the Mediterranean,

UNDERSTANDING the realities of a chaotic global order that threatens the stability of the region,

REALIZING the importance of the Mediterranean Sea as a vital route for global trade,

RESPECTING the territorial ambitions and active territory of the member states,

COMMITTED to defend collective interests with collective means,

ACKNOWLEDGING the need for enhanced trade and free access,

DEDICATED to regional peace,

Do hereby agree to the following:

Article 1:
The members understand that non aggression and peace between members is of vital importance to the stability of the organization and commit to resolve all possible disputes between members diplomatically. If two or more parties in a dispute cannot resolve the matter themselves, they may request arbitration by the Council of the Byzantine League. Aggression of any kind between members will be grounds for immediate termination of the membership of the aggressor(s).

Article 2:
The members shall immediately form a Council to decide on the implementation and expansion of this traty. The Council of the Byzantine League, hereafter also referred to as the Council, shall be headquartered in Byzantion. Each member shall send a permanent delegation to the Council. Upon creation of the Council, it shall establish the Supreme Allied Command and the Mediterranean Trade Commission to implement the treaty provisions.

Article 3:
The Supreme Allied Command shall be responsible for all provisions related to military and security activities. An active duty officer from one of the member militaries shall be voted in as Supreme Allied Commander for a one-year term by the Council. In times of collective action, the Supreme Allied Commander will be the ranking officer over all member militaries. Outside of collective action the Supreme Allied Commander shall oversee activities to enhance cooperation and compatibility between member militaries. Monthly the Supreme Allied Commander shall issue a report to the Council on the state of the Byzantine League militaries.

Article 4:
The Mediterranean Trade Commission shall be responsible for all provisions related to economic and trade activities. A Trade Commissioner shall be voted in for a one-year term by the Council. The Trade Commissioner shall oversee the Mediterranean Trade Commission and monthly report to the Council on its activities.

Article 5:
Members agree that an attack on the territory of one will be considered an attack on all. Consequently they agree that an attack against one member will invoke the right of self-defence for all member states. Members shall take any action needed to restore the situation to the one before the infraction and defer to the Supreme Allied Command on how that goal is to be achieved. For the purposes of this article, the territory of a member is defined as any land owned by the member as well as the airspace over it and the citizens, forces, vessels, aircraft and spacecraft belonging to the member.

Article 6:
The members will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any member, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the members is threatened.

Article 7:
The members may for the preservation of the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any member agree to take offensive military action against a non-member. Such a motion shall require unanimity in the Council. In cases of offensive collective military action, members will defer command to the Supreme Allied Command.

Article 8:
For the purposes of economic integration and the enhancement of the Mediterranean region at large, members will remove all tariffs on trade between members and open their borders to the free movement of goods, persons, capital and services. The Mediterranean Trade Commission may grant exemptions to the removal of tariffs for economic sectors at risk and it may set collective requirements for the free movement of persons to guarantee they will not strain local security or social services.

Article 9:
Members will cooperate on judicial and criminal matters. Members shall also share information obtained by their intelligence agencies with other members and the Byzantine League where such information affects the territorial integrity, political independence or security of a member or the organization.

Article 10:
The scope of this treaty and the Byzantine League may be expanded or shrunk by members through proposals that shall require a unanimous vote in the Council.

Article 11:
The Byzantine League may be expanded by the members. Any candidate must border the Mediterranean Sea and may not currently be in conflict with any other member. The Council can admit a candidate as a Candidate Member through a 3/4 vote in the Council. After three months the candidacy will be reviewed by the Council and through a unanimous vote make the Candidate Member a full Member. During the Candidate Member stage the provisions of this treaty do not apply to the candidate member. If the Candidate Member is not made a full Member, a new review will be held three months later and every three months after until the Candidate Member becomes a full Member or withdraws from consideration.

Article 12:
Any member may leave the Byzantine League by providing notice to the Council of their intent. Immediately upon receiving the notice, the delegation of the departing member will be removed from the Council. Three months after the notice articles 3 and 5 through 7 shall no longer apply to the departing member. Six months after the notice all article, but article 1 shall no longer apply to the member. One year after the notice the departing member shall be completely released from their obligations and rights under this treaty.

Article 13:
Members agree that there are no existing obligations that conflict with any provisions of this treaty, furthermore members agree that they will not commit to obligations in the future that may conflict with provisions of this treaty. In case of any conflict, this treaty shall hold supremacy.

Article 14:
This treaty, of which the English, French, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish texts are equally valid, shall go into effect upon the ratification by three quarters of the founding members and the deposit of the signed and ratified documents with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens. Duly authorized copies shall be sent by the government of the Athenian Federation to the governments of each member and the Council of the Byzantine League.

Article 15:
Upon becoming a new member, the obligations of this treaty shall apply immediately. The government of the new member must desposit the signed and ratified treaty carrying their signature in line with the procedure outlined in article 13.

Signed for the Athenian Federation,
Her Imperial Majesty Athanasia, Empress of the Athenian Federation, Queen of Macedon, Lady Protector of the Spartan League, Chosen of the Amazonian Free State, Speaker of Zeus, Avatar of Athena

Signed for the Federation of Israel,
President Ariel David

Signed for the Iberian Union,
Her Majesty Alba, Queen of Spain and Portugal

Signed for the Kingdom of Italy,
Her Majesty Amalia, Queen of Italy

Permanent Ambassadors

Athenian Federation: Natalia Marinos
Federation of Israel: Isaac Meir
Iberian Union: Helena Castelo
Kingdom of Italy: Celeste Conti

Candidate Members (Observer Status)

Kingdom of France:

Docket

Active Article 5/6/7 Topics (Priority):
1.

Active Topics:

  1. Appointment of the Trade Commissioner
  2. French application for membership [2/0/1]
  3. Technological and intelligence cooperation

Finished Topics:

  1. Occupation of Gibraltar by the United Kingdom (Article 6) [3/0/1]
  2. Appointment of the Supreme Allied Commander [4/0/0] - Admiral Eleonora Xanthopoulos
  3. French application for candidate membership [3/1/0]
  4. Military action against the Republic of Iraq (Article 7) [4/0/0]
  5. Declaration of War due to Iraqi Violation of No-Fly Zone and Attack on League Aircraft (Article 5) [4/0/0]

With the formation of the Council the Iberian Union would send Helena Castelo as permanent ambassador from the Iberian Union to the Byzantine League. As a close friend of the Queen she knew exactly what her monarch wanted and could thus rapidly respond in a crisis. For now though the first crisis would come from her side as she had just received instructions from Madrid.

As soon as the Council was seated Helena would request the floor, once granted she would address the other ambassadors. “Your excellencies, first of all I wish to say it is an honour to be here with all of you and take part in this revolutionary project. I did however not just ask the floor to express my opinion on being here. As you know the Iberian Union has recently engaged in diplomatic talks with the United Kingdom on the return of Gibraltar to the Kingdom of Spain. The United Kingdom refused our very generous offer that would have preserved their military needs, the rights of the locals and even provided an equally sized territory elsewhere. As this is a direct threat to our security and territorial integrity I would like to invoke Article 6 and consult yourselves on how the Iberian Union may proceed and more specifically how the Byzantine League will support our quest.”

As Natalia listened to the Portuguese ambassador she messaged one of her aides to get her an Imperial Intelligence briefing on the Gibraltar situation from Athens. Natalia had been warned by the Empress that Iberia would likely bring up the topic but she hadn’t expected it so soon.

“Madam Ambassador, first I do wish to echo your sentiments regarding being here. I feel similarly. Regarding the topic you raise however. While I do understand why you would want your territory reunified, it is my understanding that article 6 is more intended for situations where new threats rise. The United Kingdom has held Gibraltar for centuries now without using it to launch an attack against any of the constituent states of your union. What do you seek from this effort?”

“While it is true that the status quo has been established for almost four hundred years now, this is because so far the Spanish states lacked the ability to properly form a front against the United Kingdom. It is our understanding that the primary purpose of this organization is to establish security in the Mediterranean. It is our position that as long as Gibraltar continues to be under British control we will never be secure. We are not seeking a military action against the United Kingdom. Either by ourselves or by the League as a whole. What we do want is a formal statement by the Byzantine League condemning the occupation of Gibraltar and pledging the diplomatic capabilities of all members to achieving that. As well as potential trade restrictions against the United Kingdom.”

Natalia nodded. “At this stage I believe that economic sanctions or sanctions of any kind by the Byzantine League would be premature and even counterproductive as it would force the United Kingdom on the defensive. I am however willing to support an official statement by this Council calling upon the United Kingdom to return to the negotiating table to discuss the transfer of sovereignty over Gibraltar to the Iberian Union.” By now she had been provided with the requested intelligence and would begin writing something down quickly on her tablet before sending it to the others. “Perhaps something like this.”

The Council of the Byzantine League;

having been made aware of the recent negotiation between the Iberian Union and the United Kingdom,

acknowledging the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713 which provided for the ceding of Gibraltar to the Iberian Union,

acknowledging that after this treaty the United Kingdom has expanded its territory on seperate occassions beyond the treaty bounds and never returned this land,

realizing that the United Kingdom displaced the original Spanish population and forced them from their homes,

understanding the position of the current settlers and their desire to remain under British control,

recognizes that the Kingdom of Spain has a right to Gibraltar and that the claim of the descendents of the original inhabitants outweighs the rights of settlers, and calls upon the United Kingdom to:

  1. Return to the negotiating table with the Iberian Union to engage in good faith negotiations.
  2. Such negotiations should include the option of sovereignty being returned to the Kingdom of Spain within an acceptable timeframe.

Helena took the statement and reviewed it before comparing it to the directive she had been issued. It was not quite the full statement they desired but it was acceptable. “The Iberian Union can agree to this”

“While we initiated this proposal ourselves and still sympathize with the Iberian position, we still feel that there is more to be achieved by constructive dialogue with the United Kingdom. As such the Athenian Federation will abstain”

On behalf of the Federation of Israel, Isaac Meir would be assigned as Permanent Ambassador. Once the first summit started, Isaac listened carefully to the two female ambassadors. While he personally felt for the United Kingdom, he could absolutely understand the Spanish desire to see returned what was rightfully theirs. “The Federation of Israel supports the proposed statement and votes in favour”

Celeste Conti, an experienced diplomat who had been a leader in the revolution was assigned as permanent ambassador to the Byzantine League, right now the highest profile mission an ambassador in the Italian Foreign Service could be assigned. As she listened to the various sides she recognized that removing the United Kingdom from the Mediterranean would be a great boon to stability of the region. “The Kingdom of Italy will happily vote for this statement, we also wish to reassure Iberia that should economic measures fail. We will not hesitate to support military efforts”

“With that final vote the motion has passed with 3 yays, 0 nays and 1 abstain. The Byzantine League will notify the Foreign Ministry of the United Kingdom of our position on the Gibraltar matter. Moving on I would like to propose that we proceed to the first item on our regular docket. The appointment of a Supreme Allied Commander. The Athenian Federation wishes to propose Admiral Eleonora Xanthopoulos. Admiral Xanthopoulos has been an officer within the Hellenic Navy for the past twenty years and has established a reputation as a capable and very respected commander. She led the Hellenic Navy in the recent German war as well as the series of conquests that led to the Athenian Federation. She has a lot of experience with handling inter-branch and inter-service coordination and as such is in our view the best candidate to serve as our highest military officer”

“The Iberian Union currently does not have a nominee of its own and would support Admiral Xanthopoulos. Especially considering the emphasis on naval warfare most conflicts involving us as an organization would likely involve”

After concluding their meeting and signing the treaty, Jeanne would see the Iberian Queen off before instructing her Diplomat, the Lady Paramount of Aquitaine and her little sister.

Your Excellencies,

First of all I must congratulate you on the formation of your new organization. While my Queen was saddened to not have been invited for its foundational conference, it nevertheless is an impressive diplomatic body and send a vital message to the world. Despite the initial oversight, the Kingdom of France would still like to join this organization in full. As such on behalf of my Queen and the Kingdom of France, I am hereby applying for candidate member status with the goal of seeking full membership in three months.

Sincerely,
Lady Nathalie of the House Phénix, Lady of Toulouse, Lady Paramount of Aquitaine, Dauphine of France

As the French letter came in. Helena also received a notice from the Iberian Ministry of Foreign Affairs with key details regarding the altered Iberian position on France and instructions for the Iberian position.

“If I may, I would like to state that the Iberian Union sponsors the French application and will vote in its favour. While I can imagine some at this table are hesitant to embrace France. Especially with their first message to the world being the razing of their capital. My Queen has in recent days engaged extensively with the French Queen and combined with their relative quitness on the international stage we believe they would make an excellent fifth member.”

“Israel approves of both the Athenian nomination for Supreme Allied Commander and the French application”

After receiving a request from Athens and with both ongoing proposals only pending one vote anyway, Natalia took the floor. “Fellow ambassadors, I have been requested by my government to initiate Article 7 of our treaty. As you may well know recent publications in Athenian and Polish newspapers have shown the existence of a great humanitarian crisis developing in Iraq involving its Kurdish population. The Athenian Federation seeks to take military action in regards to this conflict. Our initial plan is to enfoce a naval blockade and a no-fly zone over the region. We hope that by cutting off their valuable oil trade routes and prohibiting military civilian traffic we can simultaneously hurt their government where it hurts most and minimize their ability to deploy military force to subjugate the Kurdish people. Should that fail we intend to launch an invasion by land of at least the Kurdish region, but most likely greater Iraq. It is our hope that considering the humanitarian character of this operation, we may count on your military support”

Celeste considered the French membership, her government had made it very clear that France was to still be considered a security threat. “While I appreciate the Iberian case, I fear that my Queen has made it clear that she does not at this point believe that France would make a reliable addition to this organization. As such while considering the other votes our vote is moot. We still vote against their membership. We will vote in favour of the article 7 motion against Iraq and will commit our forces to the full range of military operations. Finally we also support the Admiral for Supreme Allied Commander”

“The Iberian Union will support the blockade and no-fly zone. If it comes to it we can commit forces to a ground assault but it will be limited”

“With that the candidate membership of the Kingdom of France passes. The Secretariat of the Council is to formally invite a French representative to act as observer at this Council and a plan of action for full membership will be prepared”

“The Federation of Israel shares Athenian concerns for ethnic minorities in Iraq. We will vote in favour of the motion, however on the condition that the Byzantine League dedicates resources to the protection of Israel against possible retalliation by Iraq against our territory. This would likely need to be primarily in the form of anti-air”