Anglo-French Declaration

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British troops entering Baghdad.

The Anglo-French Declaration was signed between France and Great Britain on November 7, 1918, agreeing to implement a "complete and final liberation" of countries that had been part of the Ottoman Empire including the establishment of democratic governments in Syria and Mesopotamia. The agreement made it explicit that the form of the new governments was to be determined by local populations rather than imposed by the signatory powers. The agreement was meant to allay Arab suspicions of possible European colonialist or imperialist ambitions. In fact France and Great Britain kept control of both regions until after World War II.[1][2][3]

The text[edit]

ANGLO-FRENCH DECLARATION
November 7, 1918

The goal envisaged by France and Great Britain in prosecuting in the East the War let loose by German ambition is the complete and final liberation of the peoples who have for so long been oppressed by the Turks, and the setting up of national governments and administrations deriving their authority from the free exercise of the initiative and choice of the indigenous populations.

In pursuit of those intentions, France and Great Britain agree to further and assist in the establishment of indigenous Governments and administrations in Syria and Mesopotamia which have already been liberated by the Allies, as well as in those territories which they are engaged in securing and recognizing these as soon as they are actually established.

Far from wishing to impose on the populations of those regions any particular institutions they are only concerned to ensure by their support and by adequate assistance the regular working of Governments and administrations freely chosen by the populations themselves; to secure impartial and equal justice for all; to facilitate the economic development of the country by promoting and encouraging local initiative; to foster the spread of education; and to put an end to the dissensions which Turkish policy has for so long exploited. Such is the task which the two Allied Powers wish to undertake in the liberated territories.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Zara S. Steiner, The lights that failed: European international history, 1919-1933, Part 720, Oxford history of modern Europe, Oxford University Press, 2005 p. 104, ISBN 0198221142
  2. ^ Bruce Westrate, The Arab Bureau: British Policy in the Middle East 1916 - 1920, Penn State Press, 1988, p. 167, ISBN 0-271-02324-4
  3. ^ Timothy J. Paris, Britain, the Hashemites, and Arab Rule, 1920-1925: the Sherifian solution, Israeli History, Politics and Society Series, Routledge, 2003, p. 51, ISBN 0-7146-5451-5

See also[edit]