The Treaty of Zagreb was the second formal treaty of the Imperial Bond, bringing about a relative (if temporary) peace between the Republique of France, the League of Italian States and the Ottoman Empire.
The aim of the treaty was to resolve lingering distrust between the various Mediterranean members of the Bond, allowing them to refocus their efforts on fighting the Grand Coalition. Negotiated in the Ottoman city of Zagreb in October and November 1871, the treaty did, for a while, succeed. The cessation hostilities allowed the Italians and French to cooperate for a while during Operation Sirocco, as well as give the Ottomans time to reinforce their borders.
Ultimately, however, the treaty was partially broken after the effective breakup of the League in 1872.
Following the Singapore campaign of 1870, Empress Shizuna of the Empire of the Blazing Sun reached out to Prussian Emperor Frederick Grunder, asking him to attack the Britannia in an attempt to divert attention away from the Pacific theatre. The resulting Prussian attack, the London Raid, was highly successful at this, drawing Britannian attention for at least the next two years to matters closer to home.
The attack also formally cemented the Imperial Bond between its two senior partners - the Prussian Empire and the Empire of the Blazing Sun - and drew in their network of allies. On the Prussian side, this meant the League of Italian States and the Republique of France, as well as, by extension, the French allies the Ottoman Empire.
However, tensions between the French, Italians and Ottomans was dire. The French resented the Italians, who had carved most of their Mediterranean empire out of the remains of Napoleon Bonaparte's French Empire. Additionally the Italians were sponsoring the Free Greek movement on the Ottomans' western border, having even sponsored an "unaligned" Italian expeditionary force led by Guiseppe Garibaldi.
These tensions threatened to undermine the military strategy of the Imperial Bond in the Mediterranean and Europe in general.
Eventually, Emperor Grunder and President Bonaparte persuaded and strong-armed the various leaders into a meeting in the Ottoman city of Zagreb in October 1871. To show the importance of the negotiations, Grunder sent his own son and heir, Crown Prince Konrad, to chair the negotiations.
However, the negotiations were not easy. Although all parties were determined to end the tension between them, none seemed immediately willing to give anything up.
The Sublime Porte, the Ottoman advisory ruling council, trusted the Prussians less than they trusted the French (specifically, the Austro-Hungarian section of the Prussian Empire), but this was held in check as all parties realised the true threat of the Russians to the East, and the reassurances and pressure of the pragmatic voices of Konrad and Bonaparte.
Additionally, tensions between the French and Italians remained as both sides realised they would have to give up the dream of dominating North Africa alone, but they needed each other to counter the threat of the Grand Coalition to the west.
The negotiations were described by Tetrach Antonio Novarro, the Doge of Venice, as "like eating a banquet of broken glass three times a day for a month".
The Treaty Edit
Ultimately, a negotiated settlement was reached and the treaty signed on November 9th, 1871. Although neither the Ottomans or the Italians became full equal members of the Bond, they did gain several key items.
The Italians gave up their sponsorship of the Free Greek movement, and abandoned their forces in Greece - this was not a concern to the Tetrachy, as the forces were made up of troops who believed, like Garibaldi, in a unified Italy, something that the Tetrachy wanting nothing to do with. In return, the Ottomans granted the Italians access to the Suez Canal, allowing the Italian Hunter Fleets access to the oceans at large without having to run the Britannian gauntlet at Gibraltar. The Ottomans were still suspicious of this, but the Prussians gave assurances that Italian activities in the Canal would be monitored.
Additionally, the Italians were promised additional Prussian military aid in North Africa, conditional on their support of the French in their upcoming attack on New Carthage.
Although the Bond was strengthened with the signing of the Treaty, it did have several effects, both short- and long-term.
Free Greece Edit
One of the immediate effects was that the Italian forces in Greece suddenly found themselves cut off. For Garibaldi, however, this was a minor setback, as he declared his army would immediately be combined with the Free Greek forces as mercenaries on a long-term contract.
Republic of Egypt Edit
A larger effect was within the Ottoman neighbour of the Republic of Egypt. Representatives from the Republic had not been invited to Zagreb, and the deal with the Italians for access to the Suez Canal (which Egypt nominally controlled on behalf of the Ottomans) caused an uproar in the nation.
The Ottoman Sultan had believed that the Egyptians would be pleased at the deal - the Italians gaining access to the canal being a small price to pay for the end to hostilities. Instead, the Egyptian parliament was outraged at being presented with a fait accompli. The debate ended with the Nile faction withdrawing from the governing coalition, forcing President Al-Rachid to call an election - an election that was ultimately won by the Hammer and Kopesh factions under Ali ibn Aziz.
Aziz immediately siezed the Suez Canal and launched attacks on Ottoman forces in Palestine. Additionally, he sought new allies, and was taken up the new Britannian Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. Ultimately, the Republic joined the Grand Coalition.