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What Was the Sykes Picot Agreement about

What Was the Sykes Picot Agreement about

The Sykes-Picot Agreement, also known as the Asia Minor Agreement, was a secret treaty signed on May 16, 1916, between Great Britain and France in the midst of World War I. The treaty aimed to divide the Ottoman Empire`s Middle Eastern territories into spheres of influence for the two countries, effectively carving out new borders and creating new states.

The agreement was named after its two lead negotiators, Sir Mark Sykes of Britain and François Georges-Picot of France. The treaty was negotiated in utmost secrecy, and its existence was not revealed until after the war ended, in 1917.

At the time, the Ottoman Empire was a fading power, and its territories in the Middle East were seen as a valuable prize by European powers. Britain and France were keen to secure control over these territories, which were strategically important due to their oil reserves and their location on the trade routes to Asia.

Under the terms of the agreement, Britain would gain control over Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) and a swath of territory stretching from the Persian Gulf to Palestine, including the cities of Baghdad, Basra, and Mosul. France, meanwhile, would gain control over Syria and Lebanon.

The Sykes-Picot Agreement was controversial from the outset, not least because it was seen as a betrayal of the promises made to the Arab people during the war. In 1915, Britain had promised Arab leaders that if they rose up against Ottoman rule, they would be rewarded with independence. However, the Sykes-Picot Agreement made no provision for Arab independence, and instead divided the Arab territories between Britain and France.

The agreement also had significant long-term consequences for the Middle East. The new borders created by the treaty cut across traditional tribal and ethnic boundaries, leading to ongoing conflicts and tensions in the region. The agreement also helped to fuel anti-Western sentiment in the Arab world and helped to create the conditions for the rise of Islamic fundamentalism.

In conclusion, the Sykes-Picot Agreement was a secret treaty signed during World War I between Britain and France to divide the Ottoman Empire`s Middle Eastern territories into spheres of influence. The treaty was controversial from the outset, and its legacy continues to be felt in the Middle East today. As a professional, it is important to highlight the significance of the Sykes-Picot Agreement and to recognize its long-term impact on the region.

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