Political map of Europe & the Mediterranean 8 April 1904 (Entente Cordiale): The Anglo-French rivalry (Anglo-French relations) had been a constant of European affairs for centuries. In 1904, however, Britain's newfound ally, Japan (Anglo-Japanese Alliance), attacked (Russo-Japanese War) France's ally, Russia (Franco-Russian Alliance). In an attempt to avoid entanglement in this war between their allies, the two nations signed the Entente Cordiale (Entente Cordiale) - a series of agreements that defined their respective spheres of influence, in particular recognizing British control of Egypt (History of Egypt under the British) and French primacy in Morocco (French protectorate of Morocco).