US President Woodrow Wilson rejected all secret agreements between allies and encouraged open diplomacy and ideas of self-determination. On November 22, 1917, Leon Trotsky sent a note to the petrograd ambassadors that “contained proposals for a ceasefire and democratic peace without annexation and without compensation based on the principle of nation independence and their right to determine the nature of their own development.” [68] Peace negotiations with the four-year Alliance – Germany, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey – began a month later in Brest-Litovsk. On behalf of the Quadrennial Alliance, Count Czernin replied on 25 December that “the question of the nationality of national groups that do not have the independence of the state should be constitutionally resolved by any state and its peoples independently” and that “the right of minorities is an essential part of the constitutional right of peoples to self-determination”. [69] If we are seen over the years in the broader context of other agreements, declarations and promises to the actors in the region, we see how the agreement is at the root of so many contemporary problems. In the Constantinople Agreement of 18 March 1915, after naval operations began in the run-up to the Gallipoli campaign, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Sazonov wrote to the French and British ambassadors to claim Constantinople and the Dardanelles. During a five-week series of diplomatic talks, the United Kingdom and France, although they made their own claims, agreed on greater influence in Iran in the case of the United Kingdom and on the annexation of Syria (including Palestine) and Cilicia for France. The demands of the United Kingdom and France were unanimous and all parties agreed to leave the exact management of the holy sites to a subsequent settlement. [18] Without the Russian revolutions of 1917, Constantinople and the Strait could have been given after the Allied victory over Russia. This agreement and the Sykes-Picot agreement were complementary, because France and Great Britain had to satisfy Russia first to conclude the partition of the Middle East. [19] Western commentators and elsewhere use the agreement to explain the current unrest in the Arab world. For them, it is a “blowback” – the unintended and damaging effects of imperialist interference in the region.

After the Constantinople Agreement, the French turned to the British to develop their reciprocal desiderata and the British set up the De Bunsen Committee on 8 April 1915 to examine British options. [45] Zionism was not taken into account in the June 1915 Committee report,[46] which concluded that in the event of division or zone of influence, there must be a British sphere of influence that included Palestine, while accepting that there be relevant French and Russian interests, as well as Islamic interests, in Jerusalem and in the holy places. [47] [48] Although Russia has never officially signed the agreement, it has accepted it.