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Simultaneously, however, the United Kingdom was negotiating with Arabs who had sided with the British and French in an uprising against Ottoman rule – first and foremost with Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca.But under the Sykes-Picot agreement, Syria had been awarded to France. The secret agreement negotiated by Sykes and Picot subsequently led to the formation of states that served the great European colonial powers' geopolitical interests, not the social, religious, and ethnic realities of the region. A political order was forced upon the Muslim Middle East by Christian European powers that had flouted their commitments to Arab independence – an order that has been at the root of a century of war and conflict.Sykes and Picot did bring about a reconciliation between the two great Entente powers, and the regional order they created in the aftermath of centuries of Turkish/Ottoman rule endured.That is why today's main crises in the Middle East are playing out precisely in the heartland of the Sykes-Picot Agreement: Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq.Regional forces, not external powers (including Russia), will create the new order in the Middle East emerging out of the remains of the Sykes-Picot system.
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