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Hussein-McMahon Correspondence

The Hussein-McMahon Correspondence was a 1915-16 exchange of letters between the Hejazi leader Hussein ibn Ali, sharif of Mecca, and Sir Henry McMahon, British High Commissioner in Egypt, concerning the future political status of the Arab lands of the Middle East, where Britain was seeking to bring about an armed revolt against rule by the enemy Ottoman Empire.

McMahon's promises are seen by Arab nationalists as a pledge of immediate Arab independence, an undertaking violated by the region's subsequent partition into British and French League of Nations mandates under the secret Sykes-Picot Agreement of May 1916. Particular controversy surrounds the position of Palestine, which McMahon later claimed was excluded from the discussions, and where Britain promised to favour the creation of a Jewish national home in the Balfour Declaration of November 1917.