Convention of London 1840: Egypt, The Ottoman Empire and the seeds of British interests
The Convention of London 1840 seeks to maintain the balance and continuity of power that Europe’s major powers except France wanted to see maintained. The Ottoman’s had first held Egypt in the 16th Century. Their continued involvement in the Middle East and Egypt had brought some value to the Europeans as continuity equated with stability. The Convention of London sought to ensure that such stability was not completely undone by the war between the Ottoman’s and Muhammad Ali’s Egypt. Hence not only Britain but the major powers of Austria Prussia and Russia were also keen and active in making sure matters were resolved as quickly as possible to their mutual satisfaction.
The conditions of Muhammad Ali being allowed to hold Egypt and the Eyalet of Acre himself and through his successors required that Egypt would remain part of the Ottoman Empire;
- time conditions and penalties if he did not agree and withdraw his forces, that were onerous and designed to ensure that he would not prevaricate.
- he had to return Sultan Abdulmecid the Ottoman Fleet (which had defected) to Alexandria
- with draw his forces from Arabia, the Holy Cities Crete and Adana.