Sykes Picot Agreement Quotes


More than a year after the agreement with Russia, British and French representatives, Sir Mark Sykes and François Georges Picot, drafted another secret agreement on the future prey of the Great War. Picot represented a small group determined to ensure control of Syria for France; For his part, Sykes asked the UK to compensate for the influence in the region. The agreement did not allow, to a large extent, the future growth of Arab nationalism, which the British government and army wanted to use at the same time for their advantage vis-à-vis the Turks. In the Sykes-Picot Agreement, concluded on 19 May 1916, France and Great Britain divided the Arab territories of the former Ottoman Empire into 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.

Rather complicated for the British, their cunning plan was unmasked within a few weeks of the Balfour declaration. The Imperial-Russian government, which had also approved the Sykes-Picot agreement, was removed from power after the turbulent events of the Russian Revolution of 1917. The new Bolshevik leaders discovered the text of the secret agreement in the national archives and served as whistleblowers of the time and quickly published it. The bottom right corner of the map illustrating the agreement that the two men signed on May 9, 1916, just before their governments signed the treaty, reveals it in eloquent detail. While Georges-Picot signed in black ink, Sykes used only a pencil. A look at the map of the Middle East could lead to the conclusion that Sykes-Picot, the agreement that has helped to draw so many contemporary borders, has also created artificial countries. But just because a border is artificial doesn`t mean it`s the county that comes out with it.