The Sykes-Picot Agreement is a controversial agreement that was signed between France and Britain in 1916, which divided up the Ottoman Empire. This agreement was kept secret for many years, until it was leaked by the United States in 1917.
The Sykes-Picot Agreement is considered by many to be one of the most significant documents in modern Middle Eastern history. It has been blamed for much of the instability and conflict that has plagued the region for the past century.
The agreement was named after its two principal negotiators, Sir Mark Sykes of Britain and Francois Georges-Picot of France. The agreement aimed to carve up the Ottoman Empire, which was in a state of decline and disarray, into zones of influence for France and Britain.
Under the agreement, France was to control much of modern-day Lebanon and Syria, while Britain was to control much of modern-day Iraq, Jordan and Israel-Palestine.
The Sykes-Picot Agreement was highly controversial from the outset. Many Arab nationalists opposed the agreement, as they believed that it ignored the aspirations of the Arab people and would lead to the division of their lands.
The agreement was kept secret for many years, and it was only after the United States entered World War I that it finally came to light. In 1917, the US Department of State published the agreement in the New York Times.
The publication of the Sykes-Picot Agreement caused outrage throughout the Arab world. Many Arabs saw the agreement as a betrayal by France and Britain, who had promised to support Arab independence in exchange for their support during the war.
The publication of the agreement also had a significant impact on the course of the war. It undermined the credibility of the Allies in the eyes of many Arabs, and it helped to fuel the growth of nationalist movements throughout the Middle East.
In conclusion, the Sykes-Picot Agreement is a highly controversial document that continues to have a significant impact on the politics of the Middle East. Its publication by the United States in 1917 was a major turning point in the history of the region, and it helped to shape the course of the 20th century.