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COLONIA – The Consulate has released a full statement regarding a recent breakdown in diplomatic relations between the Grand Republic and the Empire of Austenasia. The problems began around the Congress of Colo, an intermicronational conference in which Austenasia had agreed to take part. The following is a summary of what transpired according to available information.

Despite Emperor Jonathan’s initial interest in the Congress, which prompted scheduling that would be beneficial to Austenasia at the expense of other delegations, Austenasia failed to send a representative to the first meeting of the Congress. This came after months of advance notice, reminders, and suggestions by Consul Callahan that Austenasia expand its delegation, which consisted only of Emperor Jonathan, to prevent such problems. Because of Austenasia’s absence, of which no advance notice was provided, the Congress failed to reach a quorum in the first session and was thus unable to vote on anything.

Consul Callahan proceeded to inquire via private messages and official diplomatic emails as to the intent of the Emperor to participate in the Congress, all of which were ignored. After an incident in the Congress chat wherein the Emperor withdrew Austenasian participation, the Ministry of State attempted through several mediums to contact both the Austenasian Chief Ambassador, Alastair Cranston, and the Austenasian Prime Minister, Joseph Kennedy, who are charged with maintaining foreign relations by Austenasian law. Due to a lack of contact information, the Consulate was initially unable to contact the Chief Ambassador, but a reply was received from Prime Minister Kennedy. In the message, Kennedy said that the Emperor had not informed other members of the Austenasian government about the Congress, and that he had only found out through Delveran media. He also stated that he could not see why Austenasia would not have a vested interest in the Congress.

Kennedy promised a response from the Imperial government on August 19, but as of the time of printing, Delveran diplomats have received no reply, despite sending more messages to both Kennedy and Cranston. A request by the Consulate for an in-person meeting with Prime Minister Kennedy at a time and venue of the Prime Minister’s choosing has has likewise not received a reply. Delveran diplomats have concluded that these events represent a lack of capacity for Austenasia to participate in foreign relations and a violation of the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation currently in force between Delvera and Austenasia.

Regardless of all of this, Consul Callahan insisted, “We are not cutting ties with Austenasia, we are asking Austenasia to please reestablish them. We do not seek penance. We are not out to satisfy demands of petty trifles. We are seeking a pragmatic solution to a problem that is deeper than a diplomatic relationship – one that we fear may be systemic within Austenasia.

We are open, as always, to the myriad of diplomatic options on the table. We are, in fact, open to no other options but those of enhanced diplomacy.”

Both Prime Minister Rev. Joseph Marx of the North American Confederation and HRM King Christian I of Karnia-Ruthenia agreed to answer a few questions regarding the Congress and Austenasia. The transcript of the interview is as follows:

Q: How did Austenasia’s absence affect the first session of the Congress?

Marx: From my perspective, there was very little effect upon first session. Mind you, I had figured that they would eventually inform us as to their delay or a reasonable justification for their absence, as is expected in such diplomatic situations, and they would be there for the next session.

Christian I: Not too terribly much, but it delayed our conversation from proceeding because of waiting on them.

Q: Consul Callahan’s statement included the following phrase, in reference to Emperor Jonathan: “He has disregarded diplomatic protocol and courtesy to others in the Congress while at the same time obnoxiously demanding our adoption of customs for himself, which would have been reasonable if requested in a manner consistent with propriety, which it was not.” Could you elaborate on what this is referring to exactly?

Marx: Upon the completion of the first session of Congress, the minutes from that session were released to the public. In these minutes, the various delegates were named, irrespective of their titles or ranks. So Emperor Jonathan was referred to as Jonathan Austen, which was deemed inappropriate by the Austenasian delegation. They made this aware to the Congress by accusing the Delveran and Karno-Ruthenian delegations of impropriety, and the situation quickly began to spiral. This also happened to be the first time the Austenasian delegation had participated in the delegation and it was to accuse the other diplomatic representatives of undiplomatic behavior and a threat to leave the Congress.

Christian I: The Austenasian delegation refused to address a select few of the members of the Congress by their proper titles, then proceeded to complain that they were not receiving the courtesy of being addressed by their proper titles as well, claiming that said titles were taken “very seriously” by their Empire.

Q: Has what transpired between Austenasia and the Congress affected your nation’s outlook toward Emperor Jonathan or the Empire itself?

Marx: The North American Confederation has always held that Austenasia and the Confederation form the historical backbones of our respective hemispheric micronational neighborhoods, being among the oldest still-functioning micronational governments. I personally hold a great deal of respect for Emperor Jonathan, having worked with him before his ascension in the establishment of GUM and other aspects of the micronational community, and am deeply trouble by his behavior during this whole affair. While I do believe personally that this incident has negatively impacted the potential future relationship between the Empire and the Confederation, neither my government or the legislature has released any official response and has no current plans to do so.

Christian I: Yes, I personally see Emperor Jonathan as a hypocrite. He is quite arrogant in my opinion.

Q: Do you have any general statement to make about the whole affair?

Marx: I am severely disappointed in the behavior of all parties in this affair. While the Delveran and Karno-Ruthenian delegations had a right to be upset and defensive, given the Austenasian delegation’s rather antagonistic behavior, I feel that the situation could’ve been better handled earlier on had certain delegates maintained a stronger sense of decorum and restraint. I also feel a sense of responsibility for how the entire situation evolved, as I was asked by the Delveran and Karno-Ruthenian delegations to personally speak to Emperor Jonathan, owing to my strong personal ties and relationship to the Austenasian government (being a member of the Austenasian Order, myself), and despite my best efforts, Austenasia still left the delegation. I feel somewhat responsible, as if I could’ve done more.

Christian I: The golden rule, treat others the way you’d like to be treated. Extend the same courtesies that you wish to receive back.

Both individuals are the heads of their respective nations’ delegations to the Congress.

Consul Callahan finished off his statement with a call to action directed toward the micronational community:

“To those friends of Austenasia, among whom we count ourselves, who may be inclined to shutter out this message of heartfelt but stern consequences for unstatesmanlike actions, we ourselves ask you to indeed, stick up for Austenasia. Now is the time for all of us to rally behind Austenasia’s banner and help our friends through this time. Austenasia has so much to offer, it is a shame that such a blemish has befallen her in relation to her friends and allies around the world.

We are calling on Austenasia to provide modes of contact with her ministers consistent with her status as a sovereign state and her stated national character. We are asking for more focused ministrations devoted to diplomatic relations. We are calling for more effective communication within the government of Austenasia.

This is not about Delvera finding fault. This is about us all. Our community. This is about the standards to which we hold ourselves and those we consider legitimate states.”

The Consul’s full statement may be read here.

Reporter: Jordan Brizendine