October 10th, 2021

Sykes Agreement

By JEREMY WARNE

Hussein`s letter of 18 February 1916 appealed to McMahon for £50,000 in gold, plus weapons, ammunition and food, stating that Feisal was awaiting the arrival of “no less than 100,000 people” for the planned revolt, and McMahon`s reply of 10 March 1916 confirmed British approval of the questions and closed the ten letters of correspondence. In April and May, discussions were launched by Sykes on the benefits of a meeting in which Picot and the Arabs were to participate in order to articulate the desiderate of the two sides. At the same time, logistics were managed in relation to the promised revolt and Hussein`s impatience with the measures increased. Finally, at the end of April, McMahon was informed of Sykes-Picot`s terms and he and Grey agreed that they would not be communicated to the Arabs. [54] [55]:57-60 For a period of twenty years, the Turkish Customs Tariff in force remains in force in all blue and red zones as well as in zones (a) and (b) and customs duties or conversions of customs duties of value into specific customs duties may be increased only in agreement between the two powers. George Curzon stated that the great powers were still attached to the agreement of the Organic Regulations on Governance and Non-Interference in the Affairs of the Maronite, Orthodox Christian, Druze and Muslim communities with regard to Beirut Vilayet of June 1861 and September 1864, and added that the rights granted to France in modern Syria and parts of present-day Turkey under Sykes-Picot, are incompatible with this agreement. [78] May 16 will mark the hundredth anniversary of the agreement, amid the question of whether its borders can survive the region`s current furies. “The system that has existed for a hundred years has collapsed,” Barham Salih, a former Iraqi deputy prime minister, said in March at the Sulaimani forum in Iraqi Kurdistan. “We don`t know which new system will take its place.” Exactly one hundred years ago, two diplomats, a British and a Frenchman, concluded the Sykes-Picot agreement, which divided the Middle East into two zones of influence. The agreement became one of the cornerstones of the region and gave the core of the Middle East the form it has adopted since the end of the First World War.

However, the political order, founded a century ago by the British and French superpowers of the time, including the regimes put in place and the delimitation of borders, is currently facing serious challenges. The article examines the agreement through the lenses of the past and present and considers its prospects for surviving the political storms that are currently engulfing the region. It concludes with a recommendation: Israel should be prepared to express its ideas for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If a new “Sykes-Picot” order is created, it will almost certainly also relate to this problem. . . .

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