In the chain of agreements between France, Russia and Britain, Russian claims were first approved: France confirmed its agreement on April 26 and Britain on May 23 with formal sanction on October 23. The Franco-English agreement was confirmed in an exchange of letters on 9 and 16 May.  The agreement provided a general understanding of British and French spheres of influence in the Middle East. The objective was to divide among themselves the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire (without the Arabian Peninsula). In his introduction to a 2016 symposium on sykes-Picot, law professor Anghie notes that much of the agreement is devoted to trade and trade agreements, access to ports and railway construction.  In May, Clayton Balfour reported that in response to a proposal that the agreement was controversial, Picot had “admitted that a substantial revision was necessary given the changes in the situation since the agreement was drafted,” but nonetheless considered that “the agreement was in any event fundamental.” The agreement effectively divided the Ottoman provinces outside the Arabian Peninsula into areas of British and French control and influence. The countries under British and French control were divided by the Sykes-Picot line.  The agreement transferred to Britain control of what is now southern Israel and Palestine, Jordan and southern Iraq, as well as a small additional area including the ports of Haifa and Akkon to allow access to the Mediterranean.    France should control southeastern Turkey, northern Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.  In the Sykes-Picot Agreement, concluded on May 19, 1916, France and Great Britain divided the Arab territories of the former Ottoman Empire into spheres of influence. In the area provided for, it was agreed that each country may establish direct or indirect administration or control, as it wishes and as appropriate to reach an agreement with the Arab State or the Confederation of Arab States.
Under Sykes-Picot, the Syrian coast and much of today`s Lebanon went to France; Britain would take direct control of central and southern Mesopotamia around the provinces of Baghdad and Basra. Palestine would have an international administration, since other Christian powers, namely Russia, were interested in this region. The rest of the territory in question – a vast area with present-day Syria, Mosul in northern Iraq and Jordan – would have local Arab leaders under the supervision of France in the north and British in the south. Britain and France would also retain free passage and trade in each other`s area of influence. I also have the honour to explain that Her Majesty`s Government is proposing to the Russian Government to exchange notes exchanged by the Russian Government and your Excellency`s Government on April 26 to conclude the agreement. . . .