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Why Is The Sykes Picot Agreement Important

In 1915-16, Sir Mark Sykes of the British War Office and the French Consul in Beirut, François Georges-Picot, reached a secret agreement to divide the Asian provinces of the Ottoman Empire after the First World War into areas of direct and indirect British and French control. The Anglo-French declaration was read in the protocol, and Pichon commented that it showed the selfless position of the two governments towards the Arabs and Lloyd George that it was „more important than all the old agreements”. [91] Pichon mentioned an agreement proposed on 15 February on the basis of the private agreement between Clemenceau and Lloyd George last December. [91] (According to Lieshout, Clemenceau presented Lloyd George, just before Faisal met at the conference of 6, a proposal that seems to cover the same subject; Lieshout, which issued on British materials related to the 6, while the date is not specified in the minutes. [92] After the outbreak of war in the summer of 1914, the Allies – Britain, France and Russia – had much discussion about the future of the Ottoman Empire, which is now fighting on the side of Germany and the central powers, and its vast territories in the Middle East, Switzerland and abroad. In March 1915, Britain signed a secret agreement with Russia, whose plans for the territory of the Empire had prompted the Turks to join Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1914. Under its terms, Russia would annex the Ottoman capital, Constantinople, and retain control of the Dardanelles (the extremely important strait that connects the Black Sea to the Mediterranean) and the Gallipoli Peninsula, the target of a major Allied military invasion, which began in April 1915. In exchange, Russia would accept British claims to other territories of the former Ottoman Empire and Central Persia, including the oil-rich region of Mesopotamia. The agreement is seen by many as a turning point in Western and Arab relations. She denied the promises made by the United Kingdom to the Arabs[9] concerning a national Arab homeland in the region of Syria in exchange for British support for the Ottoman Empire.

The agreement was made public with others on 23 November 1917 in Moscow by the Bolsheviks[10] and repeated on 26 November 1917 in the British Guardian, so that „the British were displaced, the Arabs appalled and the Turks happy.” [11] [12] [13] The legacy of the agreement has caused too much discontent in the region, particularly among the Denarabern, but also among the Kurds, who were denied an independent state. [14] [15] [16] [17] The Franco-British agreement faced a double opposition: the Turkish national revolt of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in Anatolia, which opposed the Treaty of Sevres; and the rise of hashemites to power in Mesopotamia (now Iraq) and Syria. The agreement also „internationalized” Jerusalem – a bone thrown at the Russian empire, then a British and French ally. The Russians feared that Orthodox Christians would be at a disadvantage if the French Catholics had the final say on the future of the holy city. The following eleven points included the formal agreements between Great Britain, France and Russia. It was agreed that at no time will the French government enter into negotiations on the transfer of its rights and will not cede these rights to a third power in the blue domain, with the exception of the Arab State or the Confederation of Arab States, without the prior approval of Her Majesty`s Government, which itself will give the French government a similar commitment with regard to the red zone. After the Constantinople Agreement, the French turned to the British to develop their reciprocal desiderata and the British set up the De Bunsen Committee on 8 April 1915 to examine British options. [45] Zionism was not taken into account in the June 1915 Committee report,[46] which concluded that in the event of division or zone of influence, there must be a British sphere of influence that included Palestine, while accepting that there be relevant French and Russian interests, as well as Islamic interests, in Jerusalem and in the holy places. [47] The French elected Picot as French High Commissioner for the soon-to-be occupied territory of Syria and Palestine.