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Husayn Mcmahon Agreement

McMahon`s statements were interpreted by the Arabs as assurances of Arab independence that were never obtained due to the subsequent division of the region into areas controlled by Britain and France (defined in the secret Sykes-Picot Agreement of May 1916). A particular controversy has emerged around Palestine, which official British authorities – and even McMahon – have called excluded from the deal. With the Balfour Declaration in November 1917, Britain claimed to be in favor of creating a farm for Jews. As a result, the Hussein McMahon correspondence was rediscussed. In 1922, growing criticism led to an official statement by then-colonial minister Winston Churchill, the Churchill White Paper, which reaffirmed the Balfour Declaration and McMahon`s opinion on the Palestinian question. More recently, the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (IS) has tried to deny the image of renewal and an anti-colonial force, calling for an end to the Sykes-Picot agreement and the artificial borders it has drawn. One of his first acts was the destruction of border crossings between Syria and Iraq. However, ISIS`s anti-division attitude is too short, as the underlying problem is the separation process that justifies the division. Indeed, separation is an essential element of the division that makes it not only a territorial and economic process, but above all a demographic and exclusionary process. Pan-Arabists and Arab nationalists were aware of this and, in their time, they condemned and rejected the colonial division of the Sykes-Picot agreement, and sometimes they proposed unionist pan-Arabist alternatives and translated their discourse into real attempts to push back borders and create trade unions or federations.

However, the Sykes-Picot agreement was not the first step in the division process. In fact, a hundred years ago, three documents were to sow the seeds of separation and colonial division in the Middle East. The correspondence between Sayyed Hussein bin Ali, the Sharif of Mecca and the High Commissioner to Egypt Henry McMahon from 1915 to mid-1916 is the document that introduces the notion of division in the region along ethno-religious lines. Then, the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916 aimed to abandon the Arab territories of the Ottoman Empire among the final partners (France and Great Britain with the agreement of Tsarist Russia and Italy). Finally, the Balfour Declaration, issued in 1917, gave a colonial movement the right to settle and develop in Palestine, thus confirming the partition of Syria. The Sykes-Picot Agreement between Britain and France was negotiated from late November 1915 until its agreement in principle on January 3, 1916. .

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