It is not known at this time whether an end to official hostilities between the two nations is on the cards, though the news has prompted widespread speculation that this may be the case. The news has been greeted with tremendous furor in both the Republic and the Mandate, in particular from anti-appeasement segments of both populations.
Prime Minister Karin Midular moved swiftly to head off the outcry, broadcasting a speech across the Republic this afternoon. The full text of the speech follows:
"My fellow people of Matar.
I fully understand the outcry over the recent revelations. I am here to assuage your fears and explain our reasoning. I would appeal for your composure and attention.
We have been in a state of war with the Nefantar since the creation of our beloved Republic. War is a terrible thing. All of us know our history and none of us can deny this simple fact. Throughout time, wars have been fought for conquest, for plunder and for freedom. But this war, which has gone on so long and cost us so much, has been fought for one simple reason: hate.
As a people, we possess a lot of hate, and perhaps rightly so. No other people in the history of our universe have suffered so much in the cause of tyranny and sacrificed so much for the cause of freedom. But is this all we are? I choose to believe not. I choose to believe we are better than that, that we can rise above such hatred. Though we may spit their names today through clenched teeth, I choose to believe we may one day look upon our kin and feel an emotion other than hatred. Did not the great Kiaor himself say: 'Those whom you hate so fervently, you must have once loved so deeply?'
I will not deny that the path in front of us is long and arduous - that there exists an almost insurmountable gap between our peoples - but I will do all within my power to bridge it.
We have lost so much. Let us not, in the throes of hatred, lose yet more."
The speech, the first Republic-wide broadcast by Midular for over a year, seems to have quitened unrest in the short term. Though Matari everywhere continue to voice their confusion and discontent, the angriest voices have stopped shouting. Even among the Tribal Council, one of the hotbeds of the ever-present appeasement debate, a vote has been passed pledging support for continuing talks with the Ammatar.
The Ammatar and the Matari have been in an official state of war ever since the Great Rebellion 129 years ago. While the intensity of the fighting has ebbed and flowed, the peak was hit 7 years ago as a long-term Matari offensive, dubbed the Vindication Wars, came to a close at the Battle of Tears, one of the highest-casualty engagements in recorded history. Since then, the two nations have settled into a tense stand-off. With the exception of the occasional skirmish no fighting has taken place, and the borders of both nations have remained secure.
No information has been publicly released as to when and where the talks will continue.