Sykes-Picot Agreement Text

The memorandum was forwarded to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and circulated for notice. On 16 January, Sykes informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that he had spoken to Picot and that he thought Paris could agree. On 21 January, Nicolson convened an inter-departmental conference. Following the meeting, on 2 February 3, the War Commission examined it and it was finally decided, at a meeting on the fourth meeting between Bonar Law, Chamberlain, Lord Kitchener and others, that: in the Sykes-Picot Agreement, concluded on 19 May 1916, France and Great Britain shared the Arab territories of the former Ottoman Empire in spheres of influence. In its intended area, it was agreed that each country can establish a direct or indirect administration or control, as they wish and as they see fit to agree with the Arab State or with the Arab confederation. Under Sykes-Picot, the Syrian coast and much of present-day Lebanon went to France; Britain would take direct control of central and southern Mesopotamia around the provinces of Baghdad and Basra. Palestine would have an international administration, because other Christian powers, namely Russia, were interested in this region. The rest of the territory in question – a vast territory with syria today, Mosul in northern Iraq and Jordan – would have local Arab leaders under French surveillance to the north and Britons to the south. In addition, Britain and France would retain free passage and trade within the other`s zone of influence. The agreement of Sir Mark Sykes (1879-1919) and François Georges-Picot (1870-1951), negotiated in May 1916, painted the Fertile Crescent in red and red (for Great Britain`s sphere of influence) and blue (French sphere). For many Arabs, “Sykes-Picot” remains today the slogan of secret diplomacy and ruthless realpolitik linked to colonial ambition. But in its original form, the map of the Fertile Crescent, provided for by “Sykes-Picot”, was distinctly different from the system of colonial states, created in St. Remo (1920) and ratified in Lausanne (1923).

Mosul and Palestine (French and international in the original agreement) have now gone to Britain, whose armies, allies and colonial auxiliaries had led most of the struggle against the Ottomans and whose troops occupied Syria and Mesopotamia at the end of the war. Recent historical work asserts that it is these territorial displacements and the unintended consequences they have had for Anglo-French relations that would have the most important long-term consequences on the history of the Levant. The agreement was originally used directly as the basis for the 1918 Anglo-French modus vivendi, which provided a framework for the Occupied Enemy Territory Administration in the Levant. More generally, it was to lead indirectly to the subsequent partition of the Ottoman Empire after the Ottoman defeat of 1918. Shortly after the war, French Palestine and Mosul ceded to the British. Warrants in the Levant and Mesopotamia were awarded at the San Remo conference in April 1920, according to the Sykes-Picot framework; The British mandate for Palestine ran until 1948, the British mandate for Mesopotamia was to be replaced by a similar treaty with compulsory Iraq, and the French mandate for Syria and Lebanon lasted until 1946.

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