The cause of many of these clashes were unrealistic promises made by the British on either side; Promises directly related to the artificial shaping of the modern Middle East initiated by the Sykes-Picot agreement. The agreement has thus helped shape the contours of modern nation-states in a region where there were none before. Since this is essentially an agreement between two colonialist powers outside the region, this would have devastating effects. Wilson intervened, emphasizing the principle of consent of the governed, whether Syria or Mesopotamia, that he believed the problems were part of world peace and not necessarily just a matter between France and Britain. He proposed to form an Inter-Allied Commission and to be sent to know the wishes of the local population of the region. The Anglo-French agreement was confirmed in an exchange of letters on 9 and 16 May.  From November 1915 to March 1916, representatives of Great Britain and France agreed to an agreement, with Russia offering its consent. The secret treaty, known as the Sykes-Picot Agreement, was named after its chief negotiators, aristocrats Sir Mark Sykes of England and François Georges-Picot of France. Its conditions were set out in a letter dated 16 May 1916 from the British Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey, to Paul Cambon, French Ambassador to Great Britain.