Britain, France and Russia are discussing how to divide up the still undefeated Ottoman Empire. After Turkey’s defeats in the Caucasus and its failed invasion of Egypt, the assumption is that the pending Franco-British assault on the Straits will most likely knock it out of the war. Russia’s foreign minister has written to the British and French saying that Constantinople and the Straits should be given to Russia. Britain has already acquiesced to this request, in return for concessions in Persia.
Now the French ambassador delivers France’s reply. Maurice Paléologue tells his hosts that France is willing to accept Russia’s demands with regard to Constantinople. In return, the French want to annex Syria and territory bordering it to the north. Syria is not a clearly defined region; it does not immediately become apparent to the Russians that the French are attempting to lay claim to Palestine and the Holy Places.
map (AYDeezy on Deviantart)