Key Facts & Summary
- The Sykes-Picot agreement is a secret agreement signed on May 16, 1916, following the Franco-British negotiations that had been carried out between November 1915 and March 1916, (with the approval of the Russian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy).
- The agreement sought to divide the Middle East into several zones of influence that would benefit the French and British powers. The areas that would be affected were the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the Caspian Sea.
- Such division of the Middle East was a result of the dismembering of the Ottoman Empire.
- The secret agreement was finally revealed to the general public only on November 23, 1917, in an article of Izvestia and Pravda.
- The Sykes-Picot agreement gained prominence and attributed certain events to the Allies during the First World War, later feeding the Arab and Islamist nationalist claims.