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New Flanders Crisis
|New Flanders Crisis|
||Kingdom of the Danube|
|Commanders and leaders|
The New Flanders crisis was a diplomatic crisis involving Shorewell and The Danube over the disputed status of New Flanders. The dispute erupted following the passage of the Act of Union, which merged the Kingdom of the Danube and the Archduchy of New Flanders into a single united nation, the United Kingdoms of The Danube and New Flanders and Her Commonwealth. Initially, Shorewellese politicians and policy-makers paid little heed to the merger, which in their eyes was illegal as the state had been under Shorewellese suzerainty and protection, and had no principal right to merge itself into another nation. However, by June 2018, the Parliament of Shorewell pushed for negotiations with The Danube, so as to permanently resolve the conflict.
These negotiations resulted in the signing of the Ehengntyre Accords, which entailed three parts: the Danubine Instrument of Surrender, the Partition of New Flanders Act, and the Shorewell-The Danube Mutual Recognition Treaty. Based off these accords, The Danube agreed to withdraw its troops from New Flanders, and allow for a referendum to take place in all new portions of the state (the regions that were added after the signing of the Treaty of Madaz-a-Maloom), wherein the people shall be permitted to decide whether they wish to remain as a protected state of Shorewell or in union with The Danube. The referendum took place shortly after, and the results were announced in a landslide victory to remain in a union with The Danube. Following this, both leaders took pledges to resolve the dispute fully, within an expected two months time, so as to decide the final status of the initial Archduchy.
The crisis was resolved following the joint-statement issued by Sultan Bilal and King Alexander within the Nozax Declaration. New Flanders was effectively partitioned into a Kingdom of New Flanders, under a political union with The Danube, and a reaffirmation of the independence and protected status of the Archduchy of New Flanders under Shorewellese suzerainty.
The origin of the dispute dates back to New Flander's previous status as a constituent state of the Desi Empire. Following the ratification of the Treaty of Madaz-a-Maloom, New Flanders gained its independence, with Archduke Alexander von Hapsburg reigning over as monarch, and Shorewell acting as suzerain and protector of the newly independent state. During this time, New Flanders was in personal union with The Danube, as Alexander ruled over both realms, but separately.
Alexander had been on leave for a while, and as such had ratified the Treaty of Madaz-a-Maloom on the 28th of July, instead of the 20th, when the treaty was due to come into force. He had however previously assured Sultan Bilal of the state's future status under Shorewell's sphere of influence. Nevertheless, around the same Ned Gunderson, ruling politician from Nedland claimed Alex had also agreed to give him the state as a territory of Nedland. The Sultan and Mr. Gunderson held several diplomatic discussions, as Nedland claimed New Flanders as an unincorporated territory, while Shorewell argued that it was legally independent.
A few days later, Alexander came back and confirmed the state's status as a protected state of Shorewell, thus leading to Nedland withdrawing its claim on the state, and the two nations signing the Shoro-Nedlando-Khorasan Mutual Recognition Treaty.
Union with The Danube
Following months of inactivity in most of the newly-emerged states from the Treaty of Madaz-a-Maloom, the Sultan invited all leaders of the state into a Skype chatroom to discuss the future of the nations and their relationship. The Sultan went on to issue the Shehzadam Declaration on the 23rd of November, 2017. This declaration formally renounced all of Shorewell's rights onto the protected states, and released them from the aforementioned state's suzerainty. However, just a month later on 17 December, the Sultan announced that the Parliament had declared the Shehzadam Declaration illegal, as the Sultan had no rights to making such a proclamation. The Danube was caught unawares by this new development, as it had been planning a union with New Flanders for the past few weeks. As such, it opted to ignore this new issue, and passed the Act of Union, essentially merging The Danube and New Flanders into the United Kingdoms of The Danube and New Flanders and Her Commonwealth. King Alexander attempted to resolve the issue right then and there with the Treaty of Ehengntyre, however this proposal was withdrawn by The Danube shortly after.
Attempts at resolution
Shorewell itself ignored the Union, as it descended into diplomatic isolation for another half year. However, with the Sultan's abrupt return in mid-June, he addressed the need to resolve the status of New Flanders. King Alexander felt it was too late to restore New Flanders to its independence, as Unionists in both The Danube and New Flanders favored the status quo. He believed a simple treaty outlining Shorewellese recognition of the status quo and a full withdrawal of suzerainty over New Flanders, with some added privileges for Shorewell could satisfy Shorewellese demands and resolve the issue.
To this respect, the Treaty of Kaiser-Bilalstadt was proposed, wherein the aforementioned terms were stipulated, and the Sultan was offered an additional Lordship in Plot 33, as a gesture of good will. Shorewell rejected the terms of this treaty completely, and proposed the first version of the Ehengnyte Accords, wherein he proposed The Danube withdraw from New Flanders, and that it becomes fully independent under the Shorewellese sphere of influence, and reopening of diplomatic ties between Shorewell and The Danube. This too was promptly rejected by The Danubine government, and just as negotiations seemed to have collapsed as The Danube was unwilling to concede on any point whatsoever, that pertained to New Flander's sovereignty.
King Alexander send a recorded message over to the Parliament of Shorewell, where he hoped to garner some sympathy and find some reason and common ground with Shorewellese politicians. While the Parliament generally accepted the terms of Treaty of Kasier-Bilalstadt as proposed by King Alexander, the Grand Vizier promptly rejected, resulting in a deadlock for negotiations. Both the Sultan and King Alexander were wary of keeping the status quo, as the legal status of half of what The Danube recognized as its territory was under dispute.
As a result, Sultan Bilal proposed a new version of the Ehengntyre Accords, which included a plan for the partition of New Flanders. It allowed for a referendum in the new portions of New Flanders (the ones added to the state following the ratification of the Treaty of Madaz-a-Maloom), wherein the people could opt to remain in union with The Danube or maintain independence under Shorewellese suzerainty. The remaining (original) portion of New Flanders's status was left vague on purpose, as it was subject to future Shoro-Danubine negotiations.
King Alexander agreed to the terms of the Ehengnyte Accords which took effect on June 22. The Danubine armed forces in New Flanders surrendered to the Shorewellese Command, and were subsequently withdrawn back into The Danube, to allow for a fair and clear vote. The referendum's result established the people's will, which was to be in union with The Danube. To this point, Shorewell has signed a mutual recognition treaty with The Danube (entailed within the Ehengnyte Accords), and respects and recognizes the United Kingdoms of The Danube and New Flanders and Her Commonwealth in its sovereignty, with the exception of the Archduchy of New Flanders (referring to the original portions of the state which maintains a disputed status), which it continues to recognize as independent.
Nevertheless, both Sultan Bilal and King Alexander expressed their optimism about resolving the entire situation, as both took pledges to work with the other in bilateral talks to bring a peaceful end to this issue.
The very next day, following the signing of the accords, King Alexander approached the Sultan about establishing a demilitarized zone in the Archduchy of New Flanders, something the Sultan and the King agreed to discuss at a later time. Shortly after, Alexander proposed a swap, wherein Shorewell would discontinue its recognition for the Archduchy as an independent state, in exchange for another larger piece of land that could be established as a protected state. A further proposal was made to simply move the Archduchy's land claims. The Sultan refused both proposals, triggering a back and forth argument between the two about their intentions and who was to blame for this entire catastrophic situation.
Both leaders felt betrayed or deceived by the other, with the Sultan eventually threatening to withdraw recognition of The Danube if it conceded on no point, which would result in a complete collapse of negotiations. Just around this time King Alexander issued a declaration allowing for a Royal Dictatorship in The Danube. King Max of Jupiter was made aware of the ongoing crisis between Shorewell and The Danube, both traditionally close allies and partners of Jupiter. As a result, he offered to mediate the conflict, something the Sultan promptly refused, claiming it had to be solved through bilateral negotiations.
King Alex and Sultan Bilal proceeded to communicate further on the legal rights of New Flanders, culminating in The Danube finally agreeing to recognize the Archduchy of New Flanders (with the lands that constituted it during the ratification of the Treaty of Madaz-a-Maloom). Any further lands that were added to the region (that The Danube recognized the New Flanders Crownlands) after that would be recognized as part of the Kingdom of New Flanders. This two state solution was agreed as the only suitable and reasonable mean to end the crisis. The two leaders formalized this arrangement through the proclamation of the Nozax Declaration, which took effect on June 23, effectively ending the crisis. An additional clause had been added wherein all Danubine armed forces and personnel that surrendered in the Danubine Instrument of Surrender would go back under the Danubine Command.