The Years of Crisis: Germany’s ‘Encirclement’ and the Arms Race
In February 1902 Eckardstein reported from the German embassy in London to his Foreign Ministry that at a reception at Marlborough House he had seen Joseph Chamberlain and the French ambassador, Paul Cambon, talk to each other for nearly half an hour with great animation, but that the only words he had been able to catch were ‘Morocco’ and ‘Egypt’. This was only one of several warnings that reached the German government of what was soon to blossom into the Entente Cordiale. In the summer of 1902 Chamberlain, on his way to sign the peace treaty that ended the South African war, stopped in Cairo, where he told the French representative that he would like an understanding with France. Edward VII, whose francophile sympathies were well known, gave full backing to these feelers; and his state visit to Paris in May 1903 did much to break down the hostility engendered by Fashoda and the long feud over Egypt. Two months later President Loubet paid a return visit to London, and a favourable atmosphere had been created for serious Anglo-French negotiations. Loubet was accompanied by Delcassé, the Foreign Minister, who had long aimed at an understanding with Britain. Delcassé had conversations with Lord Lansdowne, the British Foreign Secretary, about matters of mutual concern, including two countries where they had conflicting interests — Morocco and Egypt.
KeywordsForeign Minister British Government German Government Balkan State British Foreign
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