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With both sides having committed to a cease fire and peace talks it looked like the developing crisis might disappear as quickly as it started. Under the same security precautions as with the Gabonese delegate Minister Hartfield would be escorted to the Exarch's Palace. Once there both delegates would be taken to a central conference room. High Guard had been placed throughout the room and sufficient distance between the two would be implemented to make sure no incidents happened here. A few minutes after Natalia entered the room and would take a seat at the head of the table. 

 

"Delegates, thank you for coming here today. What we are faced with is an unacceptable scenario. A war threatening the very independence of this continent and a war that can only result in the mutual destruction of Sierra Leone and Gabon. Today we will end this war and prevent future events like these to occur again. I would like to request both of you to outline your expectations and demands for this conference so we may be able to proceed and come to a compromise"

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"First off, we thank Athens for their continued commitment to peace and stability on the African continent," Foreign Minister Hartfield began. "As for our expectations, we would hope that all Gabonese forces withdraw from Sierra Leone and safeguards are put in place to prevent this sort of unwarranted and illegal aggression from coming to Sierra Leone again."

 

"Our demands are as follows: We request monetary compensation to rebuild the Freetown port and a guarantee that the Gabonese military or government will not act in aggression against Sierra Leone again, unless via a treaty obligation."

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Lord Skotia would allow her Sierra Leone counterpart to speak first listening to what he had to say before replying. "The Imperial Gabon demands are simple: We request the right to withdraw our forces from Sierra Leone unhindered and for no further actions or consequences to be placed on Imperial Gabon. Initially we may have agreed to some form of monetary compensation but the Athenian electronic strike against our infrastructure means that a lot of our funding will have to go towards repairing and replacing what was lost".  

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Natalia looked a bit surprised when the Gabonese delegate mentioned Athenian attacks. Looking through the files she had she could find no trace of any attacks being launched by any branch of the Athenian Federation, overt or covert. 

 

"First of all, the Athenian Federation has not engaged Gabon or Sierra Leone in any way. As such we must seriously recommend Gabon to look into the true culprit behind these attacks against its infrastructure. That being said Sierra Leone has a right to compensation. In the interest of peace however I would like to suggest the following agreement. Forces and PoWs from Gabon will be allowed to leave Sierra Leone, their safety will be guaranteed by the Athenian soldiers currently in Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone will receive compensation for damages done to its nation. Gabon may borrow the funds to pay off these damages at a zero interest loan from the African Development Bank. Finally both Sierra Leone and Gabon will sign a non-aggression pact to prevent future aggression against each other. Does this sound acceptable?"

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It was Lord Skotia's turn to look shocked which quickly turned to distrust as she removed a simple data pad from her belongings to bring up the information collected on the attack against the homeland. "As you can see here" she began to say as she sent the information to Natalia "the strike was very technologically advanced and struck multiple targets including the power centers set up by Athens. The attacks were of such sophistication that the attackers must have had knowledge on the buildings being targeted. That and unconfirmed reports of Athenian sightings put the most likely suspect as being Athens. If however, it was not then someone is trying to make it appear that Athens did make the attack".

 

"As for the terms presented I again must state that Imperial Gabon will not be providing any monetary compensation to Sierra Leone. Not even by taking a loan. If Sierra Leone is so focused on compensation that I can agree to Imperial Gabon providing the required resources for the repair of any damage inflicted as our nation has plenty of such. Other than that point Imperial Gabon will agree to the other terms".    

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"The assumption with reparations is usually not only in a monetary sense. I believe Sierra Leone will find the supply of resources an acceptable form of payment. As for the attacks launched against you. I recommend your military and intelligence communities forward the information collected to Athenian authorities so we may find the true party responsible for these attacks": 

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Lord Skotia would press a few buttons on the data pad and quickly shunted over to the Athenians everything that the Imperial military and intelligence communities had collected on the attack which was not much. In fact the only information collected was that some sort of stealth missile had flown over the nation and disabled vast amounts of electronics including the fusion power plants built by Athens before detonating themselves and leaving little wreckage that had no identifying marks. In addition unconfirmed reports were posted shortly afterwards detailing Athenian intervention though they were quickly identified to be false when they were verified.

 

"That data shunt I sent you has everything we have collected on the attack. Perhaps your people may be able to do something more with it Athenian" replied Skotia before turning to face Hartfield. "Send a data file to me with the exact amount of resources required and you shall receive what you need".   

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