Redrawing The Middle East Sir Mark Sykes Imperialism And The Sykes-Picot Agreement

Between 1915 and 1916, Sykes agent Lord Kitchener was in Switzerland and abroad and worked outside the war office until the untimely death of the war secretary at sea in 1916. He then worked from 1916 to 1919 in the Reich War Cabinet, in the secretariat of the war cabinet and finally as an adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Tall, charismatic and energetic, Sykes was convinced of his importance to war efforts in the Middle East, as he often traveled to the region since childhood and the books, articles and reports he had written and the maps he had presented over the years to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the War Office. It was difficult to ignore or impose when Middle East affairs were discussed. For a time, he was an expert on the Middle East of the government and participated in virtually every facet of the region`s policy and strategy. These include the Sykes-Picot agreement, the Arab Bureau, the Arab revolt and the Balfour Declaration. At the French Embassy in London, David Lloyd George and Clemenceau met on Sunday, December 1, for a private and undocumented meeting in which the French embassy returned French rights to Mosul (city of Mosul and south to Little Zab) and to Palestine, given by the Sykes-Picot agreement. [d] Although Lloyd George and others claimed that nothing had been given in return, according to Ian Rutledge and James Barr, Lloyd George promised at least one, if not all, of France`s support for the French claims in the Ruhr region, that if oil production began in Mosul, France would receive a share and that the Sykes-Picot commitment would be maintained with regard to Syria. [82] [83] [84] The memorandum was forwarded to the Department 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 final draft agreement was circulated to cabinet on February 2 and was reviewed by the war committee on February 3. Finally, at a meeting on the 4th between Bonar Law, Chamberlain, Lord Kitchener and others, it was decided that the agreement was based on the premise that the Triple Agreement would have succeeded in defeating the Ottoman Empire during the First World War and, ultimately, was part of a series of secret agreements that reflected on its division.