What Were The Problems With The Sykes-Picot Agreement Of 1916

“Sykes-Picot was certainly a mistake,” Zikri Mosa, an adviser to Kurdistan President Masoud Barzani, told me. “It was like a forced marriage. It was doomed to fail from the beginning. It was immoral because he decided on people`s future without asking them. The memorandum was forwarded to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and circulated for notice. On 16 January, Sykes informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that he had spoken to Picot and that he thought Paris could agree. On 21 January, Nicolson convened an inter-departmental conference. Following the meeting, a draft final agreement was circulated to cabinet on 2 February and was reviewed by the War Committee on 3 February. Finally, at a meeting held on 4th between Bonar Law, Chamberlain, Lord Kitchener and others, he decided that, however satisfactory, he could for the time being take note of his general acceptance of France`s proposed relations with Arabia. , its reference to the future of these relationships is a source of difficulties that it will be wise not to ignore. On more than one occasion, I have brought to the attention of Her Majesty`s Government the profound antipathy with which arabs look at the prospect of the French administration of an abrupt Arab territory.

At this level, there is a considerable risk for our future relations with France, because it is difficult and even impossible to convince France of its mistake, if we do not try to do so by warning them against the real state of Arab sentiment, we can then be accused of fomenting or encouraging opposition to the French who will threaten and give for sure the Arabs. “Civilization began here in the sixth century B.C,” Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Jafari said at the forum. “We don`t want Iraq without sects or nationalities. But we want Iraq without radicalism. We want Iraq to be like a bouquet of flowers. As chaos is mounting day by day in Baghdad, it is certainly an illusion. The failure of the draft arrangement was not reflected well on Sykes and, after doubts about his statements from Sykes-Picot to Hussein the previous year, his credibility in Middle East affairs weakened throughout 1918. Nevertheless, he continued his criticism of Sykes-Picot (at his request, now an adviser on Arab and Palestinian affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and declared on 16 February that “the 1916 Anglo-French Agreement on Asia Minor should be re-elected” and then, on 3 March, in a letter to Clayton, “the provisions relating to the red and blue zones can only be considered contrary to the spirit of every minister who has been made. for the last three months.” In accordance with modern international law, the new states automatically inherit the borders created before their independence – uti possidetis.

This rule has also been applied by Israel and its neighbours, Egypt and Jordan, in their peace agreements. After confronting the desiderata of all parties concerned – 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.