Jewish Virtual Library: Sykes-Picot Agreement -- (in official terminology, the 1916 Asia Minor Agreement)... between the British and French governments pertaining to the partition of the Ottoman Empire among the Allied Powers... Russia was also privy to the discussions and consented to the terms. The agreement became official in an exchange of notes among the three Allied Powers on April 26 and May 23, 1916. In a subsequent stage Italy, too, gave her consent and the notes, which had been exchanged between April 10 and September 27, 1917, and were confirmed in the Treaty of St. Jean de Maurienne... Sir Edward Grey, the British foreign secretary ... "Our primary and vital object," he emphasized, "is not to secure a new sphere of British influence, but to get the Arabs on our side." ...In the years that followed, the Sykes-Picot Agreement became the target of bitter criticism, both in France and in England. Lloyd George referred to it as an "egregious" and a "foolish" document. He was particularly indignant that Palestine was inconsiderately mutilated... The true progenitor of the Sykes-Picot Agreement was the McMahon-Hussein correspondence. From this point of view Arab criticism is even less justified. The two negotiations showed meticulous consideration for Arab interests and blended it with healthy realism. The power vacuum created by the destruction of the Ottoman Empire had to be filled by a new authority; the alternative was chaos... During the discussions Sykes and Picot took note that the Jews throughout the world have "a conscientious and sentimental interest" in the future of the country. Zionist aspirations were passed over. This lapse was severely criticized by William R. Hall, head of the Intelligence Department of the British Admiralty. He pointed out that the Jews have "a strong material, and a very strong political interest in the future of the country and that in the Brown area the question of Zionism [ought] to be considered." ...The agreement was officially abrogated by the Allies at the San Remo Conference in April 1920, when the Mandate for Palestine was conferred upon Britain.