(Documents Diplomatiques francais 1 (1871-1900), 2 (1901-11), 3 (1911-14) p.17)
M. Barrière, Ambassador of the French Republic at Rome, to His Excellency the marquis Visconti Venosta, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy.
Rome, December 14, 1900.
Following the conclusion of the convention of March 21. 1899, between France and Great Britain, my Government, replying to your honourable predecessor, had the opportunity to give him through me, explanations of a nature to dissipate all ambiguity as to the scope of that instrument.
Since then, Your Excellency has expressed the opinion that these assurances, reiterated in a more explicit manner, would contribute to strengthen the good relations between our two countries. Consequently, I have been authorized by the minister of Foreign Affairs, to inform your Excellency, in view of the friendly relations which have been established between France and Italy, and in that belief that this explanation will conduce further improve them, that the Convention of March 21 1899, while leaving the vilayet of Tripoli outside of the partition of influence which it sanctions, marks for the French sphere of influence, in relation to Tripolitania-Cyrenaica, a limit which the Government of the Republic has not the intention of exceeding; and that it does not enter into its plans to interrupt communications by caravan from Tripoli with the regions contemplated by the aforesaid convention. These explanations, which we agreed to keep secret, will contribute, I have no doubt, to strengthen, on this as upon other points, the friendly relations between our two countries.