Austenasia, Sandus restore diplomatic relations

The State of Sandus and the Empire of Austenasia have restored diplomatic relations since they were unilaterally suspended on 27 July 2016 by Austenasia. The treaty, agreed upon by both states, come after more than nine months of diplomatic conversations at the highest levels and arbitration by the king of Überstadt.

View the treaty here.

The treaty’s preamble clarifies that the treaty’s purpose is “to consolidate cooperation and the amicable relations between them both, to restore diplomatic relations unilaterally suspended and ruptured by [the Empire of Austenasia], and to confirm the obligations mutually taken under the signing of the Treaty of Universal Peace of 2011 as well obligations taken under friendly relations between both states.” The text includes five articles on political aggression in bilateral relations, non-assistance of third party aggressors, an apology for both nations’ past grievances, and a statement for the betterment of both nations’ diplomatic relations and cooperation.

The Prime Minister of Austenasia, Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy, severed diplomatic relations with Sandus unilaterally on 27 July 2016 in response to Sandus’s claims about its 3 July 2016 rejected membership application in the Grand Unified Micronational. Sandus held that the membership application was rejected because of a concerted effort by the Austenasian delegate, Emperor Jonathan, to raise suspicion about Sandus’s adherence to the Denton Protocol. Sandus also viewed Austenasian abstention, and later opposition, to Sandum membership in the GUM as a clear break in both countries’ historically close friendship.

That July 2014 protocol allows signatories to refuse to use the official titles and styles of address of micronationalists who misgender other micronationalists, and was controversial upon its release. Some claimed the protocol puts micronationalists’ privacy at risk, while others claimed that Sandus was trying to pressure other micronations to accept transgender micronationalists. Sandus responds to both by pointing out that the protocol is about diplomatic convention and respectful relations between states and their dignitaries, and that—at least in the case of the GUM—the organisation’s charter already enshrines the principle of respect between micronations’ officials.

While Sandus is no longer a signatory of the protocol technically, its diplomatic policy still allows Sandum officials to operate under the spirit of the protocol’s Article 3.

The restoration of Sandum-Austenasian diplomatic relations follows after months of a détente between both nations. But both countries have historically close relations. From 2012 to 2014 and even as late as 2015, Sandus was a part of a three-country group called Troika together with former Renasia and Austenasia. After Renasia collapsed in 2015, Sandus and Austenasia grew apart politically and diplomatically, eventually culminating in the suspension of diplomatic relations. Today, Sandus and Austenasia have taken a major step to normalise relations and to restore the lost friendship between both micronations.