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Sykes-Picot Agreement
Also called: Sykes-Picot Pact


Secret agreement of 1916 between Britain, France and Russia concerning the division of the territories of the Ottoman Empire, following a future defeat of the empire.
The agreement was defined by the senior British diplomat, Sir Mark Sykes, and the French consul in Beirut, Georges Picot, with talks starting in November 1915. The agreement was signed May 16, 1916 by Picot and Sykes, and following correspondence with Russia, areas were defined as theirs in October 1916.
According to the agreement the Ottoman lands would be divided this way:

Russia: Constantinople; the Bosphorus Strait; and most of the 4 provinces close to Caucasian Russia.

France: Armenia; Ottoman Syria, which comprises today's Syria, Lebanon and parts of central-southern Turkey; and northern Iraq.

Britain: Mesopotamia (southern Iraq); modern Jordan; modern Kuwait; north coast of modern Saudi Arabia; and an area around Haifa.

International zone: Most of Palestine.

The British and French areas would partly be under direct control and partly as an Arab state or states under their influence.
France and Britain suspendend the Russian part of the deal following the Russian Revolution in 1917. Lenin, the new leader of Russia, releases a copy of the agreement, much to the embarassment of Britain and France facing their Arab partners.




By Tore Kjeilen