Sykes-Picot Agreement In 1916

While Sykes and Picot were negotiating, parallel talks were held between Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca, and Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Henry McMahon, British High Commissioner for Egypt (mcMahon-Hussein Correspondence). Their correspondence included ten letters exchanged from July 1915 to March 1916[20] in which the British government agreed to recognize Saudi independence after the war, in exchange for the Sharif of Mecca that provoked the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire. [21] [22] The following eleven points included the formal agreements between Great Britain, France and Russia. The agreement was drawn up and negotiated by the country`s diplomats over the next few months and signed by the Allies between 18 August and 26 September 1917. [38] Russia was not represented in this agreement because the Tsarist regime was in the midst of a revolution. The lack of Russian approval of the Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne agreement was then used by the British at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference to invalidate it, a position that greatly outraged the Italian government. [41] When the end of the war ended in 1916, the government of Asquith, under increasing pressure and criticism, in part because of its war, gave in on 6 December to David Lloyd George, who had criticized the war efforts and had replaced Kitchener as Minister of War after his untimely death in June. Lloyd George wanted to make the destruction of the Ottoman Empire an important British war objective, and two days after taking office he told Robertson that he wanted a great victory, preferably the conquest of Jerusalem, to impress British public opinion. [59]119-120 The FEDs were at that time on the defensive on a line at the eastern edge of Sinai at El Arish and 24 miles from the border with Ottoman Palestine. Lloyd George advised his war cabinet „at once“ for „another campaign in Palestine, when El Arish was secure.“ The pressure of Lloyd George (on the reserves of the Chief of Staff) led to the capture of Rafa and the arrival of British troops at the borders of the Ottoman Empire. [59]:47-49 After confronting the wishes of all parties concerned, namely 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.

The agreement thus helped to frame the contours of modern nation-states in a region where there were none before. Since it is essentially an agreement between two colonialist powers outside the region, it would have devastating effects. Colonel Edouard Brémond was sent to Saudi Arabia in September 1916 as head of the French military mission to the Arabs. According to Cairo, Brémond was anxious to contain the revolt so that the Arabs would not threaten French interests in Syria. These concerns were not repeated in London, Franco-British cooperation was considered a priority and Cairo took note. (Wingate was informed at the end of November that it „seems desirable to impress your subordinates with the need for the most loyal cooperation with the French, which Her Majesty`s Government does not suspect of further projects in the Hijaz.“ [58] The agreement was officially abrogated by the Allies at the San Remo Conference in April 1920, when the mandate of Palestine was entrusted to Great Britain. 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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