The Sykes-Picot Agreement, signed in 1916, was a secret deal between Great Britain and France that aimed to divide the Ottoman Empire`s Arab provinces into separate spheres of influence. The agreement was named after its architects, Sir Mark Sykes of Britain and François Georges-Picot of France. It essentially drew up borders for the Middle East that still exist today.
So, which countries were signatories in the Sykes-Picot Agreement? As mentioned, it was Great Britain and France who signed this historic agreement. The two countries had been allies in World War I and had a common interest in controlling the Arabian Peninsula and Ottoman territories in the Middle East.
The agreement divided the region into three zones of influence: British, French, and Russian. Great Britain was given control over present-day Jordan, Iraq, and the southern part of today`s Israel, including Haifa and Jerusalem. Meanwhile, France was granted control over present-day Syria and Lebanon, as well as greater influence over Turkey. Russia, which subsequently withdrew from the war due to the Russian Revolution, was granted control over Istanbul, the Turkish straits, and portions of Armenia.
The Sykes-Picot agreement was meant to be a secret deal between the two European powers and was not publicly known until it was leaked in 1917. However, the agreement had a significant impact on the region and on the establishment of nation-states that followed the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.
Some argue that the Sykes-Picot agreement created artificial borders that did not account for ethnic and religious groups and led to ongoing conflicts in the region. Others argue that the agreement allowed for the creation of new states, such as Iraq and Syria, which have been important players in the region`s history.
In conclusion, the Sykes-Picot agreement was a significant event that shaped the modern Middle East. The countries that signed the agreement were Great Britain and France, who carved up the region in their own spheres of influence. While its impact is still felt today, it remains a contentious issue among scholars and policymakers.