DEVELOPING: Possible Trade/Defense Treaty being Negotiated between Bajor and Cardassia

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JALANDA CITY, BAJOR (INW) - Sources close to the First Minister have informed INW that the Cardassian Ambassador spent most of the morning seeking her audience. The First Minister is presently meeting with the Ambassador, the subject of their conversation reportedly involves the negotiations of a new trade and defense treaty, the likes of which have never been broached in the history of the Republic and the Union. The Minister of State, Jaynor Bitel, has gone on record to say that the talks are private and an announcement will be made "as soon as possible." Traffic to and from the First Minister's residence has seen the likes of the President of the Legislature as well as several members of the Party Leadership enter and exit the Chief of Staff's office.

When approached for comment, only the Vice-Chairperson agreed to speak, saying, "The First Minister needs to understand the history of her people, and should be very aware upon the fragile ground which she walks." When asked for clarification, the Vice-Chairperson declined to say anything further.

Political analysts believe that the Party may call for a Vote of Confidence in emergency session, if the First Minister does not act in accordance with their wishes.

The Cardassian Union recently lost their lucrative trade treaty with the Tzenkethi Coalition last week, when the Coalition announced their membership in the Galactic Dominion of the Gamma Quadrant. Cardassia Prime posted thirty-year lows across all markets, most notably the current exchange, when their currency dipped against the Alliance Credit. Economists believe that the failure to diversify in the markets and their unwillingness to allow free trade led to their vulnerability. If left uncorrected, the economy of the Cardassian Union will slide into a recession or depression, depending the near future and possible conflict with the Dominion. Bajor has done well to insulate itself from Cardassian economic problems, however, a depression would affect all markets in the neighboring area.

The Alliance's Deputy Minister of Trade, T'Releya, believes that Bajor should entertain the possibility of a trade treaty with Cardassia, as it does not negatively impact their standing, and they can help their closest neighbor in the region. She added, "In this time of uncertain political clime, the logical alternative is to reinforce your economic barriers to prevent any attacks on your holdings. Cardassia left itself open to a single act by the Dominion, and it has no choice but to desperately reach toward the closest races for assistance."

INW will continue to cover this developing story.

Sun Apr 17 14:00:12 2439 Alliance Standard Time

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