May 18, 1940
I am responding to the message that you sent me in order to tell you that you are certainly aware of the grave reasons of a historical and contingent character which have deployed our two countries in opposite camps. Without going back very far in time, I remind you of the initiative taken in 1935 by your Government to organize at Geneva sanctions against Italy, which was engaged in securing for herself a small space in the African sun without causing the slightest injury to your interests or territories, nor those of others. I remind you also of the real and actual state of slavery in which Italy finds herself in her own sea.
If it was to honour your word that your Government declared war on Germany, then you will understand that the same sense of honour and respect for the commitments undertaken in the Italo-German Treaty guides Italian policy today and tomorrow in the face of any event.