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The Sykes-Picot Agreement Of 1916

(Last Updated On: December 19, 2020)

After confronting the desiderata of all parties concerned – the British, the French and the Arabs – the two statesmen devised a compromise solution. The terms of the division agreement were set out in a letter of 9 May 1916 addressed by Paul Cambon, French Ambassador to London, to Sir Edward Grey, British Foreign Minister. These conditions were ratified on 16 May in a letter of Grey`s return to Cambon, and the agreement was formalized on 26 April and 23 May 1916 in an exchange of notes between the three Allied powers. For a period of twenty years, the existing Turkish tariff remains in effect in all blue and red zones as well as in zones (a) and b) and there is no increase in tariffs or conversions of value at certain rates, unless agreed between the two powers. In his doctoral thesis, Gibson discussed the role of oil in British strategic thinking at the time and mentioned Vilayet Mosul as France`s largest potential oil field in 1918 to accept its accession to the mandate of Iraq (the Clemenceau Lloyd George Agreement) in exchange for “some of the oil and British support elsewhere.” [53] The agreement effectively divided the Ottoman provinces outside the Arabian Peninsula into territories of control and influence of the United Kingdom and France. The countries controlled by Great Britain and France were divided by the Sykes-Picot line. [5] The agreement that gave Britain control of present-day southern Israel and Palestine, Jordan and southern Iraq, as well as another small area including the ports of Haifa and Acre, to allow access to the Mediterranean. [6] [7] [8] France should control southeastern Turkey, northern Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. [8] On 15 September, the British distributed a brief aid (which had been the subject of a private debate two days earlier between Lloyd George and Clemenceau [103]), in which the British dethroned their troops in Palestine and Mesopotamia and handed over Damascus, Homs, Hama and Aleppo to Fayçal`s troops. While accepting the withdrawal, clemenceau continued to insist on the Sykes-Picot agreement as the basis for all discussions. [104] In the Constantinople Agreement of 18 March 1915, after naval operations began ahead of the Gallipoli campaign, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Sazonov wrote to the French and British ambassadors and claimed Constantinople and the Dardanelles. During a five-week series of diplomatic talks, the United Kingdom and France, although they made their own claims, agreed on greater influence in Iran in the case of the United Kingdom and on the annexation of Syria (including Palestine) and Cilicia for France.

The demands of the United Kingdom and France were unanimous and all parties agreed to leave the exact management of the holy sites to a subsequent settlement. [18] Without the Russian revolutions of 1917, Constantinople and the Strait could have been given after the Allied victory over Russia. This agreement and the Sykes-Picot agreement were complementary, because France and Great Britain had to satisfy Russia first to conclude the partition of the Middle East. [19] The agreement gave a general understanding of the spheres of influence of the United Kingdom and France in the Middle East. The aim was to divide the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire (excluding the Arabian Peninsula). In April 1920, the San Remo conference distributed Class A mandates on Syria to France and Iraq and Palestine to Britain. The same conference ratified an oil agreement reached at a London conference on 12 February, based on a slightly different version of the Long Berenger agreement, previously signed on 21 December in London. Many sources claim that Sykes-Picot came into conflict with the Hussein-McMahon correspondence of 1915-1916 and that the publication of the agreement in November 1917 led to the resignation of Sir Henry McMahon. [107] There were several differences, iraq being the most obvious in the British red territory, and less obvious, the idea that British and French advisers would have control of the area designated as an Arab state.

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