San Remo conference

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The San Remo[1] Conference was an international meeting of the post-World War I Allied Supreme Council, held in Sanremo, Italy, from 19 to 26 April 1920. It was attended by the four Principal Allied Powers of World War I who were represented by the prime ministers of Britain (David Lloyd George), France (Alexandre Millerand) and Italy (Francesco Nitti) and by Japan's Ambassador K. Matsui.

It determined the allocation of Class "A" League of Nations mandates for administration of the former Ottoman-ruled lands of the Middle East.

The precise boundaries of all territories were left unspecified, to "be determined by the Principal Allied Powers"[2] and were not finalized until four years later. The conference's decisions were embodied in the stillborn Treaty of Sèvres (Section VII, Art 94-97). As Turkey rejected this treaty, the conference's decisions were only finally confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations on 24 July 1922, and when Turkey accepted the terms of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne.

Contents

Background

During the meetings of the "Council of Four" in 1919, British Prime Minister Lloyd George stated that the McMahon-Hussein Correspondence was a treaty obligation. He also explained that the agreement with Hussein had been the basis for the Sykes-Picot Agreement. He told the French Foreign Minister that the proposed League Of Nations Mandate System could not be used as an excuse to break the terms of the Hussein Agreement. Under the terms of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, the British and French had agreed to an independent Arab state, or confederation of states, and consultations with the sharif of Mecca. The French had also agreed that their military would not occupy Damascus, Homs, Homa and Allepo.[3] As early as July 1919 the parliament of Greater Syria had refused to acknowledge any right claimed by the French Government to any part of Syrian territory.[4]

On 30 September 1918 supporters of the Arab Revolt in Damascus declared a government loyal to the sharif of Mecca. He had been declared "King of the Arabs" by religious leaders and other notables in Mecca.[5] On 6 January 1920 Prince Faisal initialed an agreement with French Prime Minister Clemenceau which acknowledged "the right of the Syrians to unite to govern themselves as an independent nation".[6] A Pan-Syrian Congress, meeting in Damascus, had declared an independent state of Syria on 8 March 1920.[7] The new state included Syria, Palestine, Lebanon and portions of northern Mesopotamia which had been set aside under the Sykes-Picot Agreement for an independent Arab state, or confederation of states. King Faisal was declared the head of state. At the same time Prince Zeid, Faisal's brother, was declared regent of Mesopotamia.

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