November 7, 1918
The Anglo-French Declaration was signed between France and Great Britain on November 7, 1918, four days before the armistice agreement that ended World War I, and issued in Syria, Palestine and Iraq. Copies were posted on the public notice boards in all towns and villages in the Arab territories then occupied by the Allied forces.
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 (1) and Mesopotamia (2) which have already been liberated by the Allies, as well as in those territories which they are endeavouring to liberate, and to recognise them as soon as they are actually set up..
Far from wishing to impose any particular institutions on the populations of those regions, their [ie France and Great Britain’s] only concern is to offer such support and efficacious help as will ensure the smooth working of the governments and administrations which those populations will have elected of their own free will to have; 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.
(1) This name was officially used to denote the whole of geographic Syria from the Taurus mountains to the Egyptian frontier.
(2) Denoted the region made up of the former Ottoman vilayets of Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, which is today’s Iraq.
From The Arab Awakening, George Antonius, Capricorn Books Edition,1965.