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Source:
A Dictionary of World History
Author(s):
Edmund WrightEdmund Wright

Sykes–Picot Agreement 

(1916)

A secret Anglo-French agreement on the partition of the Ottoman empire after World War I. It was negotiated by Sir Mark Sykes (1879–1919) and François Georges-Picot and provided for French control of coastal Syria, Lebanon, Cilicia, and Mosul, and for British control of Baghdad and Basra and northern Palestine. Palestine was to be under international administration and independent Arab states were to be created in the remaining Arab territories. The agreement reflected the British and French desire to compensate themselves for Russian gains under the secret Constantinople Agreement of 1915 between Russia, Britain, and France (in which the Dardanelles and the Bosporus were to be incorporated into the Tsarist empire in return for British and French influence in the Middle East). Embarrassment was caused to the Allies when the Bolsheviks revealed the terms of the Agreement in late 1917: its provisions appeared to clash with promises made to the Arabs by Sir Henry McMahon in 1915–16 and to the Zionists in the Balfour Declaration, as well as the Fourteen Points of President Wilson.

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