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François Marie Denis Georges-Picot (21 December 1870 – 20 June 1951) was a French diplomat and lawyer who negotiated the Sykes–Picot Agreement with the English diplomat Sir Mark Sykes between November 1915 and March 1916 before its signing on May 16, 1916. It was a secret deal which proposed that, when the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire began after a then theoretical victory of the Triple Entente, Britain and France, and later Russia and Italy, would divide up the Arab territories between them.

François Georges-Picot
François Georges-Picot.JPG
François Georges-Picot, in L'Illustration, n° 3908, p. 82, 26 January 1918
François Georges-Picot

(1870-12-21)21 December 1870
Died20 June 1951(1951-06-20) (aged 80)
Paris, France
OccupationLawyer, Diplomat
Known forSykes-Picot Agreement
Spouse(s)Marie Fouquet; 3 children


He was the son of historian Georges Picot and grand-uncle of Valéry Giscard d'Estaing. He married in Paris on 11 May 1897 to Marie Fouquet. They had three children: Jean Georges-Picot (b. Paris, 26 February 1898), Élisabeth Georges-Picot (1901–1906) and Sibylle Georges-Picot. His great-niece Olga Georges-Picot, appeared in the film The Day of the Jackal.[1]


Drawing of Georges-Picot

Picot got a degree in Law and became a lawyer at the Court of Appeal of Paris in 1893. He became a diplomat in 1895 and was attached to the Policy Directorate in 1896. He then became Secretary to the Ambassador in Copenhagen, then went to Beijing before being appointed the Consul-General of France in Beirut[2] shortly before the First World War.

At the outbreak of war, he went to Cairo where he maintained good relations with the Maronites of Lebanon. In the spring of 1915 he was recalled to Paris by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development. As a member of the French Colonial Party he was an advocate for those who supported a French Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon in the Sykes-Picot Agreement,[3] desiring an "integral Syria" from Alexandretta in present-day Turkey to Sinai, and from Mosul to the Mediterranean coast.

He was appointed High Commissioner in Palestine and Syria between 1917 and 1919, Minister Plenipotentiary in 1919, High Commissioner of the Republic in Bulgaria in 1920 and ambassador to Argentina.


Further readingEdit

  • Vincent Cloarec, Henry Laurens Le Moyen-Orient au 20e siècle, Paris: Armand Colin (2003) pages 218-219 ISBN 2-200-26614-6

External linksEdit

  Media related to François Georges-Picot at Wikimedia Commons