In 1873, Tripolitan merchants began to compete with them.
The military posts were drawn up in echelon along the frontier of the desert, especially along the southern slopes of the Aures, as far as Ad Majores (Besseriani), and on the Tripolitan frontier as far as Cydamus (Ghadames), forming an immense arc extending from Cyrenaica to Mauretania.
On the 13th of May and on the 10th of June he successfully withstood the attacks of Tripolitan forces sent to dislodge him.
In a less marked way this fertile coast region is continued southwards in an ever-narrowing belt to the Tripolitan frontier.
Extensions of the railway system are contemplated to Gabes and, beyond, to the Tripolitan frontier.
With characteristic foresight, Visconti Venosta promoted an exchange of views between Italy and France in regard to the Tripolitan hinterland, which the Anglo-French convention of 1899 had placed within the French sphere of influencea modification of the status quo ante considered highly detrimental to Italian aspirations in Tripoli.