From:Mason
To:*Galactic-Enquirer
Stardate:19990807.1456
Subject:Federation Statement

* The Seal of the United Federation of Planets disappears and is replaced with the image of a tall, well dressed Bolian.  Immediately recognizable as Councilman Benhu, Chairman of the Federation Defense Council, he begins with a sigh. *

It saddens the Federation to no end to discover that the Klingon Empire is interested only in bloodshed.  For years the Treaty of EGok has kept the peace between our two peoples, and yet now it is torn to pieces with one foolish statement.

* Behnu stares straight into the cameras. *

Chancellor Merc, where is your honor?  Do you think the Federation was behind the attacks on your merchant vessels?  Are we known for such acts?  No.  We are simply providing safe haven to our Dominion neighbors who labored so hard to provide peace to our quadrant.

Months ago Starfleet vessels and Klingon battlecruisers came quite near to battle, over the simple issue of trade.  And the center point of that issue?  Whether or not the Dominion was granted the same trading rights as the Klingon Empire.  In the end we extended the olive branch, allowing Dominion vessels to travel through our space in order to trade with DS9.  We did this at your request.  And now you slander us for sheltering the Dominion refugees who you so recently betrayed.

* Behnu shakes his head, taking a sip of water.  *

No more will we take your abuse.  We wish only peace with you, our Klingon brothers.  We want only the restoration of the Treaty of EGok.  Our diplomats are standing by to meet with yours.  Unless attacked, we shall send no ships against your forces.  Lastly, I am personally meeting with the Dominion representatives to discuss these supposed attacks on your trading routes, to discover if in fact they were behind them.

* With that the Bolian steps away from the podium. *