Sykes – Picot Agreement

The minutes, which took place at a meeting of the “Big Four” in Paris on 20 March 1919 and attended by Woodrow Wilson, Georges Clemenceau, Vittorio Emanuele Orlando, Lloyd George and Arthur Balfour, set out the British and French positions on the agreement. This was the first topic discussed in the discussion on Syria and Turkey and was then at the centre of all the discussions. The Sykes-Picot agreement was only part of the secret war diplomacy concerning the Middle East. It was supplemented by agreements with two other war powers interested in the region, Russia and Italy, as well as a series of subsequent British actions and commitments, such as the Balfour Declaration and correspondence with the Hashemite family. Despite these and other changes, the term “Sykes-Picot” also refers to the general settlement of peace in the Middle East and the political order it has established. Prior to the centenary of Sykes-Picot in 2016, the media[109] and scientists[110] generated strong interest in the long-term effects of the agreement. The agreement is often cited as “artificial” borders in the Middle East, “without regard to ethnic or sectarian characteristics, which has led to endless conflicts.” [111] The question of the extent to which Sykes-Picot has really marked the borders of the modern Middle East is controversial. [112] [113] As a further sign of the United Kingdom`s dissatisfaction with Sykes-Picot, In August, Sykes drafted a “Memorandum on the Asia Minor Agreement” to support its renegotiation, to make the French understand that they are “doing a good job, that is, they should, if they cannot make military efforts consistent with their policies, change their policy.” After much discussion, Sykes was ordered to enter into an agreement or complement to Sykes-Picot (“Project Arrangement”) on the “future status of hejaz and Arabia,” which was reached until the end of September. [64] However, before the end of the year, the agreement still had to be ratified by the French government.

[65] On 15 September, the British distributed a memory aid (which had been the subject of a private debate two days earlier between Lloyd George and Clemenceau [103]) in which the British withdrew their troops in Palestine and Mesopotamia and handed over Damascus, Homs, Hama and Aleppo to Fay├žal`s troops. While accepting the withdrawal, clemenceau continued to insist on the Sykes-Picot agreement as the basis for all discussions. [104] It will be necessary to avoid regional actors trying to narrow the outlines of a proposal in order to place the external powers against each other and leave the region in chaos. It is therefore essential that the United States, Russia and the EU at least reach a comprehensive understanding and/or agreement. Only then will important regional states such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iran and Turkey be introduced. In the third phase, some local players are invited to give their consent.