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Sykes-Picot Agreement

The Sykes-Picot(-Sazonov) Agreement[1] of 1916 was a secret agreement between the
governments of Britain and France, with the assent of Russia, defining their respective
spheres of influence and control in west Asia after the expected downfall of the Ottoman
Empire during World War I. The agreement was concluded on May 16 1916[2] by the
French diplomat François Georges-Picot and Briton Mark Sykes.

Britain was allocated control of areas roughly comprising today's Jordan, Iraq and a small
area around Haifa, to allow access to a Mediterranean port. France was allocated control
of south-eastern Turkey (Cilicia), northern Iraq around Mosul, Syria and Lebanon. Russia
was to get Constantinople, the Turkish Straits and the Ottoman Armenian vilayets. The
controlling powers were left free to decide on state boundaries within these areas.The
region of Palestine was slated for international administration pending consultations with
Russia and other powers.

This agreement is seen by many as conflicting with the Hussein-McMahon
Correspondence of 1915–1916. The conflicting agreements are the result of changing
progress during the war, switching in the earlier correspondence from needing Arab help
to subsequently trying to enlist the help of Jews in the United States in getting the US to
join the First World War, in conjunction with the Balfour Declaration, 1917. The
agreement had been made in secret. Sykes was also not affiliated with the Cairo office
that had been corresponding with Sherif Hussein bin Ali, and was not fully aware of what
had been promised the Arabs. However many academics believe the British, along with
Sykes, knew exactly what they were doing and planned to deal with the consequences
after the war.

Russian claims in the Ottoman Empire were denied following the Bolshevik Revolution
and the Bolsheviks released a copy of the Sykes-Picot Agreement (as well as other
treaties). They revealed full texts in Izvestia and Pravda on November 23, 1917,
subsequently the Manchester Guardian printed the texts on November 26, 1917.[3]. This
caused great embarrassment between the allies and growing distrust with the Arabs. The
Zionists were similarly upset, with the Sykes-Picot Agreement becoming public only
three weeks after the Balfour Declaration.[citation needed]

Attempts to resolve the conflict were made at the San Remo conference and in the
Churchill White Paper of 1922, which stated the British position that Palestine was part
of the excluded areas of "Syria lying to the west of the District of Damascus".

Jane Wykowsky of Harvard. the Shiites under France. The agreement's principal terms were reaffirmed by the inter-Allied San Remo conference of 19–26 April 1920 and the ratification of the resulting League of Nations mandates by the Council of the League of Nations on July 24. broke out into mass regional war. provoking the Treaty of Versailles. as the Kurds under Russia. . in exchange for their siding with British forces against the Ottoman Empire."The agreement is seen by many as a turning point in Western/Arab relations." according to Dr. creating the animosity that we see today.E. It negated the promises made to Arabs[4] through T. Lawrence for a national Arab homeland in the area of Greater Syria. which led to WWII. 1922. and the Sunnis under Britain.