In April 1920, the San Remo Conference distributed class A mandates on Syria to France and to Iraq and Palestine to Britain. The same conference ratified an oil deal reached at a London conference on 12 February on the basis of a slightly different version of the long-term berenger agreement, previously initialled on 21 December in London. TE Lawrence, who met Sykes in the Middle East, called him «a fantasized defender of unconvincing movements of the world,» a man who carried «a bundle of prejudices, intuitions, half-sciences» that would «take an aspect of the truth, deflate it, distort it, and model it.» The civilian commissioner in Basra (now in Iraq) called Sykes «a genius for happy but not always accurate generalizations.» This kind of point of view is hidden in this book. .