The Legacy of the Sykes-Picot Agreement
7 December, 2016
The Legacy of the Sykes-Picot Agreement

On 7 December, 2016, the ICDT organized an academic conference in the Clubroom (Kodaly-room) of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Its aim was to analyze the political impacts of the Sykes-Picot Agreement. The event was held with the support of the First World War Centennial Committee.

The conference was opened by Prof. András Balogh, doctor of sciences (DSc.) and former ambassador. Prof. Balogh provided a brief historical background to the topic and described how the agreement influenced the current political transitions.

Prof. István Majoros, professor emeritus of the Eötvös Loránd University, and doctor of sciences (DSc.) began the first panel by analysing the conflict from the perspective of France. He was followed by Prof. Jenő Horváth, retired professor, who gave his audience a thorough picture of the agreement from the point of view of Italy.

Finally, Mr. Zoltán Sz. Bíró, Senior Research Fellow at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences highlighted Russia’s purposes during the negotiations over the Middle-East region.

Mr. Tamás Péter Baranyi, Research Director of the József Antall Knowledge Center opened the second panel, where Dr. Erzsébet N. Rózsa, associate professor of the National University of Public Service acquainted the listeners with the process of how the Pan-Arab identity evolved and took shape through history. Dr. László Csicsmann, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and International Relations at Corvinus University of Budapest, emphasized the development of political Islam to global jihadism.

Chairing the third panel, Mr. Mirwais Janan, our research fellow opened the floor for discussion with the third panellists: Dr. Péter Wagner and Mr. Máté Szalai, researchers of the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade, joined by Dr. Omar Sayfo, researcher of the Utrecht University.

The experts arrived at the conclusion that even though the Sykes-Picot Agreement is still considered to be the symbol of ruthless colonial ambitions, replacing or eradicating borders would not solve these deep-rooted problems. Whether the region’s fragmented states ever get restored, remains a question of the future. 

Media coverage of the Conference (in Hungarian): 

Magyar Nemzet Online, 7 December, 2016: Ki a felelős a közel-keleti káoszért? 

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