Monday, May 26, 2014

France had a long relationship with Middle Eastern people

The Australian Official History notes that France had long been active commercially in the Middle East. France became seen by people in the Middle East as friends and trading partners. As the Ottoman Empire continued to decline, France moved in to fill the void left. Many Middle Eastern people learned French as a second language. People in the Levant and Egypt regarded France as the center of European culture. The French had many commercial and industrial relationships and established schools and missions. By the 19th Century, the British had moved into competition, but the French still had an advantage. After the end of the Great War and the peace with the new, post-Ottoman Turkey, the French were disappointed that they had lost power and prestige. France still occupied North African and Middle Eastern countries, such as Lebanon and Syria. France greatly valued their occupation of Syria and was ready to defend their ownership against attackers, even the British. This is based on the account in Vol. II of the Australian Official History.

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