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After a positive response from the President of Sierra Leone, the Stormlands would dispatch Taman Volcer to Freetown, for his newest diplomatic foray across the world. Sierra Leone would be the newest stop on a diplomatic campaign that the Stormlands had seemed to find itself in the midst of as it sought to break out from relative isolation to seek out formal diplomatic relations across the globe. Boarding a government aircraft in Stormsend, Taman would depart in short order for the newly-stabilized West African nation, that the Stormlands had leaped up to support when Gabon had unwisely sent forces against it.

 

Establishing radio contact with Freetown air traffic control about halfway across the Atlantic, Taman's aircraft would proceed directly to the airport in Freetown as it approached the West African state.

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Confirmation that the craft was a Stormlands diplomatic craft would lead it to be landed in a slot reserved only for the government and foreign dignitaries. Once on the ground, Taman Volcer and his entourage would be met by Vice President Maximilian Ionaster, along with two Sierra Leonean Army soldiers armed with standard pistols only, holstered. VP Ionaster would extend a hand forward, saying in English, "Welcome to Freetown, friends. Shall we head directly to the meeting?"

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Before shaking the Vice President's hand, Taman brought his fist to his chest and bowed his head in standard respectful fashion, as per typical of the Stormlands greeting. He then took Ionaster's hand firmly, and shook it, and nodded, "Its a pleasure to be here Vice President, I appreciate you coming out to meet me." The Stormlands' Executor of the Exterior would be escorted by a few of his aides, and a single High Guardian, who was uniformed in elaborate fashion and carrying a ceremonial sword and a sidearm in an elaborate holster on his belt. The heat and humidity of the West African nation was probably telling to most foreigners from cooler climates, but it felt like home to Taman, and he seemed quite comfortable and upbeat when greeting Ionaster.

 

He smiled, "Lead on, good sir. I look forward to our discussions."

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Ionaster would grin and lead the Stormlands delegation to a motor convoy, which would make a short scenic pass of Freetown before heading to the House of Representatives, a large building made of concrete with numerous glass windows and arches in front. Although it heavily took what some may call "Soviet-style architecture" the interior of the building more than made up for the dull grayness of it's exterior, complete with beautiful artwork from various European and African countries and dark-oak lined halls. The Stormlands representatives would soon find themselves in Maximilian's office, away from the various debates and heated arguments of the House floor. Sitting down, he would offer light refreshments for Taman and his entourage before asking "What can Sierra Leone do for the Stormlands today?"

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Taman would take the opportunity of the ride into Freetown to assess Sierra Leone's capital, and the surrounding areas as it passed by whilst they were riding in the convoy that was to bear them to their meeting place. The Executor would thank the Vice President for the route he took into the city, and as they passed into the House of Representatives, he would compliment the interior of the building. He was quite impressed with the collection of art and interior decoration that had been provided to the halls of one of Sierra Leone's most important government seats. Taman would peer into rooms that had open doors as he passed by them, seemingly interested about the locale he had found himself in, before arriving in the Vice President's office.

 

After fetching himself a glass of water, Taman would take a seat across from the Vice President, one of his aides standing by the doorway, as the Sierra Leonean queried him, and he nodded in response.

 

"As you are aware, from our supportive measures taken before Athenian negotiation intervened, the Stormlands is committed to an Atlantic world that is stable and without strife. As a nation that has seen its own years of strife and finally seemingly overcome it, we were hoping that similar values could be found here in Freetown. As a Central Atlantic neighbor to us, I was hoping that we could foment some formal relations out of a meeting here today," stated Taman, with a polite smile on his face. "We think that Sierra Leone has developed itself into a responsible state that we would like to find ourselves a little friendship with, perhaps, in short."

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"First of all, I would like to thank you for your kind words. Sierra Leone has certainly been through some rough patches, to be sure. Secondly, as we have said to the Russians we thank you for your support in recent times. Your actions will not be soon forgotten by our people." Adjusting his glasses, he added, "I will admit, with the Russians and Sudanese we were first to make contact, so your government's request did come as a surprise to us. Friendship sounds like a fine idea. What did the Stormlands have in mind?"

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"Well, I believe that your government is to be commended, it was not too long ago that Sierra Leone seemed to be on the verge of being a completely failed state. There was much deliberation that seemed to tear the UN Security Council to and fro, it isn't often that countries can make a turn around in relatively short order and reestablish law and order," said Taman, taking a sip of water from the glass he held. "It was one of the reasons why our government acted very quickly when it was evident what was going on between your country and Gabon, the High Council of the Stormlands is an admirer of progress, and to see progress made in Sierra Leone wiped away was unacceptable in our opinion. It's glad that other regional governments saw this in a similar fashion."

 

"We're hoping to secure the basis of a formal relationship that can be expanded upon in coming days. Personally, I'm hoping to walk away from your nation with an agreement sets a basic set of accords across several spectrums, those mainly being economics, cultural, security cooperation, and legal framework. I believe that the best relationships are built from the ground up, cooperation that increases as time goes on builds a better relationship and stronger bonds," he continued, with a confident air in his voice.

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"I see. Well, economic ties we can certainly agree to. Sierra Leone always welcomes new economic investments from both inside and outside. As far as security cooperation goes, I believe I will have to see what exactly that will entail, and pass it through the House, of course. Out of curiosity, is there anything already written up that I can examine for any of these accords?"

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"Of course, give me a moment here," stated Taman, producing his tablet computer, he tapped on it a few times, swiping his fingers right and left a few times. "Here, it is a rough idea of terms, but perhaps gives you a fair idea of what I have in mind, Mr. Vice President."

 

He slid the tablet across the table to Ionaster, with the following terms appearing on the high-definition screen;

 

Article I: The two signatories hereby pledge to a policy of non-aggression and non-interference towards one another, and to keep this peace, shall work through high level diplomatic channels and mediation to resolve any outstanding issues between both states.

 

Article II: Both signatories shall work to lower tariff barriers and streamline foreign investment procedures to foster economic cooperation, pledging to promote economic activity that is mutually beneficial to both nations.

 

Article III: To increase security cooperation, both nations pledge to make the other aware of threats to its sovereignty whether through external or internal acquisition of relevant intelligence.

 

Article IV: To increase defense cooperation, both nations pledge to actively promote exchanges between high levels of command, and engage in cooperative exercises to familiarize their respective militaries with the other.

 

Article V: The terms of this agreement can be annulled with a one month grace period to allow for bureaucratic measures to adjust to its cancellation.

 

"It is, of course, a rough draft, and we would be glad to add to it if you'd like. Furthermore, I'd like to make the request that our government be able to set up a space track and control facility within Sierra Leone, to assist in efforts that are being made by our growing space program," added Taman, with a polite smile on his face.

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I believe this is more than welcome," Ionaster stated as he read over the draft. "I assume exchanges between high levels of command include officer exchanges between countries? We had a similar agreement with the Irish before their unfortunate invasion." After hearing Taman's reply, Ionaster would move on to the space track. "Space? Hm, while Sierra Leone has no space program of its own, I believe we can find a more than suitable location for a space track and control facility. I will see if there are any engineering firms within Sierra Leone that can find such a location and have them send their recommendations to Stormsend."

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"Yes, this would include officer exchanges between countries," remarked Taman, in a polite tone. "I believe such a program would foster defense cooperation by leaps and bounds."

 

"As a courtesy for utilizing your nation for such a facility, we would be willing to provide strategic intelligence assistance, and provide your nation with disseminated information that proves useful to your nation, basically threats to your sovereignty. This would, of course, go hand in hand with Article Three of the agreement I have shown you," he continued.

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"I see. I believe this is more than acceptable to Sierra Leone." With that, Ionaster would take the copy of the treaty. "Of course, I will have to run this through the House. I will notify you of their decision once it is made."

 

Folding his hands in front of him on the desk now, he asked, "Is there anything else of importance we should discuss here today?"

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"I understand, I look forward to their decision," responded Taman, smiling politely at Ionaster and clasping his hands in his lap, as he leaned back in his chair.

 

"I have nothing further to discuss at this point, do you have anything else of your own that would be important that you would like to discuss with me at this time?" he asked.

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