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    Sykes–Picot Agreement

    Sykes–Picot Agreement

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    Sykes–Picot Agreement

    Map signed by Sykes and Picot, enclosed in Paul Cambon's 9 May 1916 letter to Sir Edward Grey

    Created 3 January 1916

    Presented 23 November 1917 by the Russian Bolshevik government

    Ratified 9–16 May 1916

    Author(s) Mark Sykes

    François Georges-Picot

    Signatories Edward Grey Paul Cambon

    Purpose Defining proposed spheres of influence and control in the Middle East should the Triple Entente succeed in defeating the Ottoman Empire

    Full Text

    The Sykes–Picot Agreement at Wikisource

    The primary negotiators:

    Top row: Mark Sykes and François Georges-Picot;Bottom row: Paul Cambon and Edward Grey (signed the Agreement for the French and British, respectively)

    The Sykes–Picot Agreement (/ˈsaɪks ˈpiːkoʊ, - pɪˈkoʊ, - piːˈkoʊ/)[1] was a 1916 secret treaty between the United Kingdom and France,[2] with assent from the Russian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy, to define their mutually agreed spheres of influence and control in an eventual partition of the Ottoman Empire.

    The agreement was based on the premise that the Triple Entente would achieve success in defeating the Ottoman Empire during World War I and formed part of a series of secret agreements contemplating its partition. The primary negotiations leading to the agreement took place between 23 November 1915 and 3 January 1916, on which date the British and French diplomats, Mark Sykes and François Georges-Picot, initialled an agreed memorandum.[3] The agreement was ratified by their respective governments on 9 and 16 May 1916.[4]

    The agreement effectively divided the Ottoman provinces outside the Arabian Peninsula into areas of British and French control and influence. The British- and French-controlled countries were divided by the Sykes–Picot line.[5] The agreement allocated to the UK control of what is today southern Israel and Palestine, Jordan and southern Iraq, and an additional small area that included the ports of Haifa and Acre to allow access to the Mediterranean.[6][7][8] France was to control southeastern Turkey, Kurdistan Region, Syria and Lebanon.[8]

    As a result of the included Sazonov–Paléologue Agreement, Russia was to get Western Armenia in addition to Constantinople and the Turkish Straits already promised under the 1915 Constantinople Agreement.[8] Italy assented to the agreement in 1917 via the Agreement of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and received southern Anatolia.[8] The Palestine region, with a smaller area than the later Mandatory Palestine, was to fall under an "international administration".

    The agreement was initially 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 broadly it was to lead, indirectly, to the subsequent partitioning of the Ottoman Empire following Ottoman defeat in 1918. Shortly after the war, the French ceded Palestine and Mosul to the British. Mandates in the Levant and Mesopotamia were assigned at the April 1920 San Remo conference following 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 Mandatory Iraq, and the French Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon lasted until 1946. The Anatolian parts of the agreement were assigned by the August 1920 Treaty of Sèvres; however, these ambitions were thwarted by the 1919–23 Turkish War of Independence and the subsequent Treaty of Lausanne.

    The agreement is seen by many as a turning point in Western and Arab relations. It reneged upon the UK's promises to Arabs[9] regarding a national Arab homeland in the area of Greater Syria in exchange for supporting the British against the Ottoman Empire. The agreement, along with others, was made public by the Bolsheviks[10] in Moscow on 23 November 1917 and repeated in on 26 November 1917, such that "the British were embarrassed, the Arabs dismayed and the Turks delighted".[11][12][13] The agreement's legacy has led to much resentment in the region, among Arabs in particular but also among Kurds who were denied an independent state.[14][15][16][17]

    Contents

    1 Motivation and negotiations

    1.1 Earlier agreements with Russia and Italy (March – April 1915)

    1.2 Earlier agreement with the Arabs (July 1915 – March 1916)

    Source : en.wikipedia.org

    Sir Mark Sykes, 6th Baronet

    Sykes-Picot Agreement, also called Asia Minor Agreement, (May 1916), secret convention made during World War I between Great Britain and France, with the assent of imperial Russia, for the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire. The agreement led to the division of Turkish-held Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine into various French- and British-administered areas. Negotiations were begun in November 1915, and the final agreement took its name from the chief negotiators from Britain and France, Sir Mark Sykes and François Georges-Picot. Sergey Dimitriyevich Sazonov was also present to represent Russia, the third member of the Triple Entente. In the midst of

    Sykes-Picot Agreement

    1916

    Alternate titles: Asia Minor Agreement

    By The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica • Edit History

    Sykes-Picot Agreement

    See all media Date: May 1916

    Participants: France Russia United Kingdom

    Key People: Sir Mark Sykes, 6th Baronet

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    Sykes-Picot Agreement, also called Asia Minor Agreement, (May 1916), secret convention made during World War I between Great Britain and France, with the assent of imperial Russia, for the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire. The agreement led to the division of Turkish-held Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine into various French- and British-administered areas. Negotiations were begun in November 1915, and the final agreement took its name from the chief negotiators from Britain and France, Sir Mark Sykes and François Georges-Picot. Sergey Dimitriyevich Sazonov was also present to represent Russia, the third member of the Triple Entente.

    Background and provisions

    In the midst of World War I the question arose of what would happen to the Ottoman territories if the war led to the disintegration of “the sick man of Europe.” The Triple Entente moved to secure their respective interests in the region. They had agreed in the March 1915 Constantinople Agreement to give Russia Constantinople (Istanbul) and areas around it, which would provide access to the Mediterranean Sea.France, meanwhile, had a number of economic investments and strategic relationships in Syria, especially in the area of Aleppo, while Britain wanted secure access to India through the Suez Canal and the Persian Gulf. It was out of a need to coordinate British and French interests in these regions that the Sykes-Picot Agreement was born.

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    Its provisions were as follows: (1) Russia should acquire the Armenian provinces of Erzurum, Trebizond (Trabzon), Van, and Bitlis, with some Kurdish territory to the southeast; (2) France should acquire Lebanon and the Syrian littoral, Adana, Cilicia, and the hinterland adjacent to Russia’s share, that hinterland including Aintab, Urfa, Mardin, Diyarbakır, and Mosul; (3) Great Britain should acquire southern Mesopotamia, including Baghdad, and also the Mediterranean ports of Haifa and ʿAkko (Acre); (4) between the French and the British acquisitions there should be a confederation of Arab states or a single independent Arab state, divided into French and British spheres of influence; (5) Alexandretta (İskenderun) should be a free port; and (6) Palestine, because of the holy places, should be under an international regime.

    Impact and legacy

    The pact excited the ambitions of Italy, to whom it was communicated in August 1916, after the Italian declaration of war against Germany, with the result that it had to be supplemented, in April 1917, by the Agreement of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, whereby Great Britain and France promised southern and southwestern Anatolia to Italy. The defection of Russia from the war canceled the Russian aspect of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, and the Turkish Nationalists’ victories after the military collapse of the Ottoman Empire led to the gradual abandonment of any Italian projects for Anatolia.

    The Arabs, however, who had learned of the Sykes-Picot Agreement through the publication of it, together with other secret treaties of imperial Russia, by the Soviet Russian government late in 1917, were scandalized by it. This secret arrangement conflicted in the first place with pledges already given by the British to the Hashemite dynast Ḥusayn ibn ʿAlī, sharif of Mecca, during the Ḥusayn-McMahon Correspondence (1915–16). Based on the understanding that the Arabs would eventually receive independence, Ḥusayn had brought the Arabs of the Hejaz into revolt against the Turks in June 1916.

    Despite the Sykes-Picot Agreement, the British still appeared to support Arab self-determination at first, helping Ḥusayn’s son Fayṣal and his forces press into Syria in 1918 and establish a government in Damascus. In April 1920, however, the Allied powers agreed to divide governance of the region into separate Class “A” mandates at the Conference of San Remo, along lines similar to those agreed upon under the Sykes-Picot Agreement. The borders of these mandates split up Arab lands and ultimately led to the modern borders of Iraq, Israel and the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.

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    Even though the borders of the mandates were not determined until several years after the Sykes-Picot Agreement, the fact that the deal set the framework for these borders stoked lingering resentment well into the 21st century. Pan-Arabists opposed splitting up the mostly Arab-populated territories into separate countries, which they considered to be little more than imperialist impositions. Moreover, the borders split up other contiguous populations, like the Kurds and the Druze, and left them as minority populations in several countries, depriving their communities of self-determination altogether. Moments of political turmoil were often met with declarations of “the end of Sykes-Picot,” such as the establishment of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq in 1992 or the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in 2014. Meanwhile, the Sykes-Picot Agreement is often criticized together with the Ḥusayn-McMahon Correspondence and the Balfour Declaration as contradictory promises made by Britain to France, the Arabs, and the Zionist movement.

    Source : www.britannica.com

    The Sykes

    The Sykes-Picot Agreement created the modern Middle East. It represents one of the first installments in a long line of modern European – and subsequent American – meddling in the region.

    Aaron W. Hughes, University of Rochester

    To mark the 100th anniversary of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, we’ve got a package with an explanatory article about the secret accord, an argument the accord still underlies the discontent in the Middle East (below) and the counter-view that its influence is overstated.

    The Sykes-Picot Agreement created the modern Middle East. It represents one of the first instalments in a long line of modern European – and subsequent American – meddling in the region. And, in providing a set of unrealistic and impossible promises to the Arabs, it led directly to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    The Asia Minor Agreement, the official name of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, dates to 1916. It was the result of secret deliberations between the British civil servant Mark Sykes and French diplomat François Georges-Picot.

    It was made official by the Allied Powers of the first world war with the San Remo Conference in 1920.

    The agreement provided a general understanding of British and French spheres of influence in the Middle East. The goal was to divide between them the Ottoman Empire’s Arab provinces (not including the Arabian Peninsula).

    The line across a map of the Middle East it drew created colonial spheres of influence that cut directly and artificially across a region that had previously been divided along ethnic, linguistic and religious lines.

    Area “A” was to be under French influence and control, while “B” was to be under British influence and control. The Sykes-Picot Agreement also proposed an “international administration” for Palestine.

    In 1920, the latter region was transferred to British control as “Mandatory Palestine”. It was governed under British civil administration until 1948, during which the competing Arab and Zionist nationalist movements clashed with one another.

    The cause of many of these clashes were unrealistic promises made to each side by the British; promises directly related to the artificial arrangement of the modern Middle East initiated by the Sykes-Picot Agreement.

    The agreement, then, helped frame the contours of modern nation states in a region where before there had been none. Since it’s essentially an accord between two colonialist powers external to the region, it would have devastating effects.

    The mainstay of the plan was that France and Great Britain were prepared to recognise and protect an independent Arab state, or confederation of Arab states – in exchange for Arab help in overthrowing the Ottoman Empire.

    Conflicting promises

    To get a sense of the broken promises, it’s worthwhile comparing the Sykes-Picot Agreement to two other contemporary documents. These are the McMahon-Hussein letters and the 1917 Balfour Declaration.

    Sir Henry McMahon was the British high commissioner in Egypt and Hussein bin Ali was the Sharif of Mecca. In letters they exchanged between 1915 to 1916, Britain clearly agreed to recognise Arab independence after the first world war, in exchange for Arab help in fighting the Ottomans.

    The Arabs regarded McMahon’s promises as a formal agreement, which it may very well have been. The boundaries proposed by Hussein included Palestine. But this area was not explicitly mentioned in the McMahon–Hussein correspondence.

    @[email protected]#=img=#

    Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has called for the replacing of the Middle East’s crumbling nations with a transnational regional power. Reuters

    Confusing the issue was the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which promised British support for a Jewish “national home” in Palestine. Part of this very short text reads as follows:

    His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object…

    These conflicting promises remained at the heart of the impasse between two distinct nationalist groups in Mandate Palestine: the Zionists and the Arabs, later to be renamed Israelis and Palestinians.

    Repeated and conflicting promises to both sides during the Mandate period further stoked nationalist resentment. Each expected the land to remain in their hands, which seems to have been what the British promised them. And repeated attempts at dividing or partitioning the land suited neither.

    Intractable problems

    If the Sykes-Picot Agreement created the modern Middle East, it is also at the heart of many of the region’s intractable problems.

    The most significant, at least historically, has been the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. More recently, it’s the breakdown of Arab nation states in the area and the rise of Islamic State (IS).

    Read about how Islamic State uses Sykes-Picot in its propaganda

    One of IS’s stated goals is to dismantle the agreement. The outfit’s leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, has called for replacing the crumbling nations of the area into a transnational regional power, the so-called “caliphate”.

    In a 2002 interview, then British foreign secretary Jack Straw quipped:

    A lot of the problems we are having to deal with now, I have to deal with now, are a consequence of our colonial past … The Balfour Declaration and the contradictory assurances which were being given to Palestinians in private at the same time as they were being given to the Israelis — again, an interesting history for us but not an entirely honourable one.

    Source : theconversation.com

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