French–Armenian Agreement (1916)

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The French-Armenian Agreement of October 27, 1916 was the political and military accord regarding the support of Armenian nationalist (Armenian national liberation movement) on the side of the allies in World War I.


The agreement was reported to the Talat Pasha, Ottoman Empire, and a copy of it was found in the Ottoman Archives.[1] The negotiations were led by Boghos Nubar of Armenia but initiated by the Quai d'Orsay (French Ministry Foreign Affairs). The French Foreign Minister Aristide Briand seized this opportunity to provide troops under the French commitment made in the Sykes-Picot Agreement, which was still secret.[2] The Armenian leaders also met Sir Mark Sykes and Georges Picot. The French support was to be named as the French Armenian Legion and was planned to be commanded by General Edmund Allenby. However as an extension of the original agreement, Armenians fought in Palestine, Syria. Finally, after the armistice of Mudros in Cilicia. From the moment of the agreement, it took less than a month to take the decision to establish the Armenian Legion on November 15, 1916 in Paris. The support won the plaudits of Clemenceau’s government and its Entente allies.[3]

The parties agreed to the following:

  • The aim of creating the Legion was to allow Armenians' contribution to the liberation of Cilicia region in Ottoman Empire and help them to realize their national aspirations of creating a state in that region.
  • The Legion was to fight only the Ottoman Empire and only in Cilicia.
  • The Legion was to become the core of a planned future Armenian Army.

See also


  1. HR.SYS 2884/14 Belge No: 1
  2. Stanley Elphinstone Kerr. The Lions of Marash: personal experiences with American Near East Relief, 1919-1922 p. 30
  3. Richard G. Hovannisian, Armenia on the Road to Independence,' 1967