Skip to main content
Negotiations|Jordan|Syria|Lebanon / Agreements

Sykes-Picot (Asia Minor) Agreement (1916)

Date
1916-05-16
People
François Georges-Picot, France: Author, Mark Sykes, Britain: Author, Paul Cambon, France: Signatory, Edward Grey, Britain: Signatory
A secret agreement concluded on 16 May 1916 between Britain and France, dividing the Middle East into spheres of influence ahead of a possible victory against the Ottoman Empire in World War I. The agreement and the attached map designated the following areas: an Arab state under French influence (area A), roughly equivalent to today’s Syria; an Arab state under British influence (area B), roughly equivalent to today’s southern Israel, the southern West Bank, Jordan and western Iraq; an area of French direct or indirect control (blue area), roughly equivalent to today’s southeastern Turkey, coastal Syria and Lebanon; two areas of British direct or indirect control (red areas), one over most of today’s Iraq, the other around the ports of Haifa and Acre; and an area under international administration (brown area) over today’s northern Israel (except Haifa and Acre) and most of the West Bank. In 1918, following the Bolshevik Revolution, the Soviet regime exposed the agreement in the press. It served as the basis for the borders of the League of Nations mandates established in the early 1920s and the countries established in the region in later decades.

Please note that the map below only shows the division in Palestine and surrounding areas. To view the full extent of the territories in question, please consult the original map.