Effects of the Sykes Picot Agreement

The Sykes-Picot Agreement, signed in 1916, was a secret agreement between the United Kingdom and France which aimed to divide the Ottoman Empire into spheres of influence after World War I. The agreement had far-reaching consequences, not just for the Middle East, but for the world at large. In this article, we will take a closer look at the effects of the Sykes-Picot Agreement.

Political Instability

One of the most significant effects of the Sykes-Picot Agreement was the political instability it created in the Middle East. The borders created by the agreement were arbitrary and did not take into account the ethnic, religious or linguistic differences of the people living in the region. This led to the creation of states with diverse populations, which often resulted in internal conflicts and civil unrest.

Rise of Nationalism

The Sykes-Picot Agreement also led to the rise of nationalism in the region. The creation of artificial borders made it difficult for people to identify with a particular state or nation. This resulted in the emergence of nationalist movements, which aimed to create independent states based on ethnic or religious affiliations. The rise of nationalism also fuelled terrorism and extremism in the region.

Creation of Israel

The Sykes-Picot Agreement was also indirectly responsible for the creation of the state of Israel. The agreement promised the Jews a homeland in Palestine, which ultimately led to the establishment of Israel in 1948. This has resulted in decades of conflict in the region, with the Palestinian people still struggling to establish their own state.

Foreign Intervention

The Sykes-Picot Agreement also paved the way for foreign intervention in the region. The agreement divided the Middle East into spheres of influence for the UK and France, giving these countries significant control over the region’s politics and resources. This has resulted in a history of foreign intervention and interference in the region, which has often fueled instability and conflict.


In conclusion, the Sykes-Picot Agreement had far-reaching consequences for the Middle East and the world at large. Its arbitrary borders and political divisions have led to decades of unrest and instability in the region. The agreement’s legacy is still felt today, with many of the region’s conflict stemming from the artificial borders created by the agreement.