Year of the Sykes-Picot Agreement
As Sykes-Picot`s centenary approached in 2016, the media and academia showed great interest in the long-term effects of the agreement. The agreement is often cited because it created “artificial” borders in the Middle East, “regardless of ethnic or sectarian characteristics, [which] led to endless conflicts.”  The extent to which Sykes-Picot actually shaped the borders of the modern Middle East is controversial.   In Syria, outright physical and human devastation undermines the prospects for a viable state for years to come. The statistics are almost incomprehensible: more than half of the population depends on humanitarian aid to get through the day. About three million children do not go to school – out of a population of twenty-two million. In addition to a staggering number of deaths, one and a half million people have been permanently injured or disabled. Life expectancy has fallen by fifteen years since the start of the civil war in 2011. Nearly one in five citizens has fled the country in total. You might have little incentive to come back. The physical destruction amounts to at least two hundred and fifty billion dollars in a state the size of Washington. And it is increasing every day. Under the agreement, the France was to exercise direct control over Cilicia, the coastal strip of Syria, Lebanon and most of the Galilee to the line that extends north of Acre to the northwest corner of the Sea of Galilee (“Blue Zone”). In the east, in the Syrian hinterland, an Arab state was to be created under French protection (“Zone A”).
Britain was to exercise control over southern Mesopotamia (“red zone”) as well as the area around Acre Haifa Bay in the Mediterranean, with the right to build a railway from there to Baghdad. The area east of the Jordan River and the Negev Desert, south of the line from Gaza to the Dead Sea, has been assigned to an Arab state under British protection (“Area B”). The “blue zone” of southern France, which includes the Sanjak of Jerusalem and extends southward to the line that roughly runs from Gaza to the Dead Sea, is expected to be under international administration (“Brown Zone”). For a century, the bitter reaction to the Sykes-Picot process was reflected in the most politically powerful ideologies that emerged – Nasserism in Egypt and Baathism in Iraq and Syria – based on a single nationalism spanning the entire Arab world. For three years, Egypt and Syria, although on different continents, had in fact tried to merge with the United Arab Republic; The experiment was dissolved after a coup in Damascus in 1961. Hussein`s letter of 18 February 1916 called 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 requests and completed the ten letters of correspondence. In April and May, there were discussions initiated by Sykes on the merits of a meeting in which Picot and the Arabs participated in order to network the wishes of the two sides. At the same time, the logistics were being dealt with in relation to the promised revolt, and there was a growing degree of impatience for the measures to be taken by Hussein.
Eventually, McMahon was informed of Sykes-Picot`s terms in late April, and he and Grey agreed that they would not be disclosed to the Arabs.  :57-60 Reflecting on the last hundred years of borders drawn by a secret agreement, you may be wondering what the Middle East would look like today if the Sykes Picot had been drawn differently. Share this video with the world to honor those who have been oppressed over the past 100 years and who have not had a voice. In May, Clayton Balfour said that in response to a proposal that the deal was being challenged, Picot had “allowed significant revisions to be necessary given the changes that had taken place in the situation since the agreement was drafted,” but still believed that “the agreement definitively applies the principle.” A century after Sykes-Picot, the two crises removed the state façade imposed by the Europeans and exposed the void underneath. Iraq was administered by Britain and Syria by France, with limited domestic funding before the two were independent. They hoisted new flags, built opulent palaces for their leaders, encouraged the business elites, and trained many men in uniform. But both had weak public institutions, tiny civil societies, shady and unjust economies, and meaningless laws. Both countries have been ravaged by coups and instability. Syria experienced twenty coups, some failed, but many succeeded, between 1949 and 1970, an average of one per year until the Assad dynasty took power – in another coup. The glue that held the two countries together was an increasingly repressive regime and fear.
The agreement was drafted and negotiated by the countries` diplomats in the coming months and signed by the Allies between August 18 and September 26, 1917.  Russia was not represented in this agreement because the Tsarist regime was in the midst of a revolution. The lack of Russian approval of the Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne Agreement was then used by the British at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference to invalidate it, a position that greatly enraged the Italian government.  The minutes, taken at a meeting of the Big Four in Paris on March 20, 1919, attended by Woodrow Wilson, Georges Clemenceau, Vittorio Emanuele Orlando and Lloyd George and Arthur Balfour, explained the British and French positions on the agreement […].