Don’t blame Sykes-Picot

Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and Syrian President Shukri al-Quwatli wave to the crowd in Cairo after signing the agreement to create the United Arab Republic
Cairo, Feb. 1, 1958: Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser (R) and Syrian President Shukri al-Quwatli merged their states to create the short-lived United Arab Republic (source: dpa)
  • The dream of an Arab-Muslim state stretching across the Middle East has never been realized
  • British promises to help establish one were broken with the Sykes-Picot Agreement
  • However, the deal did allow for the creation of Arab states that could have modernized
  • Nationalism and radical jihadism have generated instability that continues to this day

May 2016 marked 100 years since the signing of the controversial Sykes-Picot Agreement, which divided up spheres of influence in the Middle East between France and the United Kingdom. Some argue that the colonial powers duped a helpless and naive Arab world, leading to the region’s chronic instability. However, over the past century Arab countries have constantly been torn between nationalism and Islamism – something that has made it difficult for them to become modern democratic states.

Not a subscriber yet?

Subscribe now and get the latest in-depth geopolitical analysis and forecasts from GIS’s unrivaled cadre of experts.

Learn more about our subscription plans.

You can also buy this report for €8.99 Buy

Add your comment