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Coll 17/4 'Iraq-Syria & Syria-Transjordan frontier: delimitation' [‎13v] (31/788)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (386 folios). It was created in 1 Jun 1921-27 Oct 1932. It was written in English and French. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.


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3 -
The Interpretation of Article
by the Governments.
Owing to the wording of Article i ^^ ^fXrs It 5 therefore not surprising that each
difficult to divine the real intentions of the g Y diff ntly an d that, when the elasticity
of the parties should have interpreted this article quite a ^ ^ its official interpretation
£ ^ CouncTinthe 8 "noffit wMchwe deem it desirable to reproduce here in exUnso:
■ j • 0 1 j.i. r fmm the French Government to the Secretary-
fa) French interpretation, contained m a letter trom
General of the League of Nations.
[ Translation^
January 23rd, I 93 2 -
To the Secretary-General. ....
By a resolution dated December 9th last ; t ^® g^peSro^th^difficulties raised by the
the British and French Governments request tha orm its conc]usions as to the intentions of Article 1 of the
delimitation of the frontier between Y ria ani j 1 ’ ' chnnld then indicate a frontier between Syria and Iraq
“o. the frontier described and briefly commented upon
I. Tigris Sector.
To the east, the Tigris from Jeziret-ibn-Omar to the boundaries of the former vilayets of Diarbekir and Mosul.
ThP Tm-ro Irani frontier as a result of the decision of the Council of the League dated October 9th, 1925, and
of the 5 Tigris and of the Kabur, this confluence is the point of departure of the Syro-Iraqi frontier^ .
From this confluence the frontier is marked by the thalweg of the river as far as the point where the river 2
intersected by the boundary between the former vilayets of Diarbekir and Mosul, as shown on the 1 : 1,000,000 map.
II. Tigris-Rumelan Keui Sector.
To the south and south-east the aforesaid boundary of the former vilayets southwards as far as Rumelan Keui.
From the point of intersection between the thalweg of the Tigris and the boundary of the vilayets, the frontier
follows this boundary, as shown on the 1 : 1,000,000 map; 2 the boundary bends towards the south in its w ,
portion and passes slightly south of Rumelan Keui.
The expression “as far as Rumelan Keui ” should therefore be taken to mean “as far as the point opposite
Rumelan Keui ” — i.e., as far as the nearest point to Rumelan Keui on the boundary of the vilayets.
The position of Rumelan Keui is determined by the geographical co-ordinate assigned to it on the said map.
III. Rumelan Keui-Euphrates Sector.
Thence a line leaving in the territory under French mandate the entire basin of the Western Kabur and passing in a
straight line towards the Euphrates, which it crosses at Abu Kemal.
Albu Kemal is not on the Euphrates, but 400 metres to the west of the right bank of the river. The frontier
cannot cross the Euphrates at Albu Kemal itself; it crosses it at the nearest point on its course to Albu Kemal.
The beginning and end of this line being thus determined, the line should, according to the Convention,
(1) Leave the whole of the Kabur Basin to the French mandate;
(2) Proceed in a straight line to the Euphrates, which it crosses opposite Albu Kemal.
If reference is made to the 1 : 1,000,000 map, a straight line joining the two above-mentioned points seems to
answer to these two conditions.
IV. Euphrates-Imtan Sector.
Thence a straight line to Imtan, to the south of Jabal Druse.
This definition calls for no comment.
The foregoing definition is based on the British 1 : 1,000,000 international map, published in 1916 and revised
in 1918, 2 which the negotiators of the Franco-British Convention of December 23rd, 1920, had before them.
The following maps should also be mentioned for reference: The map of 1 : 1,000,000 annexed to the Treaty of
Sevres; the map annexed to the report of the Commission of Enquiry appointed by the League of Nations to consider
the question of the frontier between Turkey and Iraq; the map of 1 : 1,000,000 annexed to thelBritish White Book
containing the text of the Treaty concluded at Ankara on June 5th, 1926, between the United Kingdom, Iraq and
Turkey (Treaty Series, No. 18 [1927]). 3
I enclose for your information a copy of the British 1 : 1,000,000 international map on which the Syro-Iraqi
frontier between the Tigris and the Euphrates has been traced in conformity with the definition given above.
I should be obliged if you would communicate the particulars of the present letter to the Members of the Council.
( Signed ) Berthelot.
Document C.106.1932.VI.
See map, Annex No. 1.
This treaty is also published in the League of Nations Treaty Series, Vol. LXIV, No. 1511.

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Papers regarding negotiations to amend the borders between French-mandated Syria, and British-mandated Iraq and Trans-Jordan. The papers discuss the boundaries established by the Sykes-Picot Agreement and the Treaty of Sèvres, the British push for the inclusion of Amadiyah within the Iraq mandated territories, and the issue of tribal groups crossing border regions. The papers primarily consist of communications between the Foreign Office, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, and the High Commissioner for Iraq, with occasional commentary from the India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Political Department.

The file also contains copies of treaties, minutes and appendices from the Committee of Imperial Defence, Standing Sub-Committee for Questions Concerning the Middle East, and minutes and documents circulated by the Council of the League of Nations, including:

  • Memorandum by the High Commissioner for Iraq, stating objections to the frontiers established by the Treaty of Sèvres, including two maps, ff 375-380.
  • Minutes and appendices of the Foreign Office meeting of 13 July 1931, including copies of the Humphrys-Ponsot Draft for Combined Reference to the Council of the League of Nations, and a copy of the Agreement between HMG Her or His Majesty’s Government in London. and the French Government respecting the Boundary Lines between Syria and Palestine from the Mediterranean to El Hammé, Treaty Series No. 13 (1923), ff 315-349.
  • Papers circulated at the Committee of Imperial Defence Sub-Committee meeting of 8 September 1931, including correspondence with the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs concerning the Beirut formula, ff 238-314.
  • Minutes of the Committee of Imperial Defence Sub-Committee meeting of 23 September 1931, including a sketch map of the Syria-Trans-Jordan frontier, and a report by the British Resident at Trans-Jordan, ff 141-209.
  • Second report by Sir Francis Humphrys on his negotiations in Paris regarding the Syrian frontier, and annexes comprising draft agreements, ff 67-75.
  • Excerpt minutes of the 65th Session of the Council of the League of Nations, 9 December 1931, including copies of the joint request for arbitration submitted by Britain and France, ff 48-66; plus minutes of the sessions on 31 October 1931, and 30 January 1932, ff 37-46.
  • Copy of the League of Nations Mandate, Report of the Commission entrusted by the Council with the Study of the Frontier between Syria and Iraq, Geneva, 10 September 1932 (Official reference: C. 578. M. 285. 1932. VI), ff 6-28, which includes four maps (IOR/W/L/PS/12/2848 (i), IOR/W/L/PS/12/2848 (ii), IOR/W/L/PS/12/2848 (iii) and IOR/W/L/PS/12/2848 (iv)).

The volume includes a divider giving a list of correspondence references contained in the volume by year. This is placed at the end of the correspondence (folio 4).

Extent and format
1 volume (386 folios)

The papers are arranged in rough chronological order from the rear to the front of the volume.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the inside front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 388; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio. An additional foliation sequence is present in parallel between ff 4-385; these numbers are also written in pencil, but are not circled.

Written in
English and French in Latin script
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Coll 17/4 'Iraq-Syria & Syria-Transjordan frontier: delimitation' [‎13v] (31/788), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2848, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 19 October 2019]

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