US President Woodrow Wilson had rejected all secret agreements between the Allies and encouraged public diplomacy and ideas of self-determination. On November 22, 1917, Leon Trotsky addressed a note to the petrograd ambassadors « which contained proposals for ceasefire and democratic peace without annexation and compensation, on the basis of the principle of the independence of nations and their right to determine for themselves the nature of their own development. »  Peace negotiations with the Quadrilateral Alliance – Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey – began a month later in Brest-Litovsk. On behalf of the Quadrilateral Alliance, Count Czernin replied on 25 December that « the question of the nationality of national groups that do not have independence from the State » should be resolved by « each State and its peoples constitutionally independently » and that « the right of minorities is an essential element of the constitutional right of peoples to self-determination ».  On April 21, Faisal set out east. Before leaving, Clemenceau sent a draft letter on April 17 in which the French government declared that it recognized « Syria`s right to independence in the form of a federation of autonomous governments, in accordance with the traditions and wishes of the population, » stating that Faisal had recognized « that France is the power qualified to give the help of various advisers to Syria, which are necessary to put in order and achieve the progress demanded by the population. on April 1, Fayçal Clemenceau assured that he was « deeply impressed by the disinterested kindness of your statements towards me, while I was in Paris, and that he must thank you for having been the first to propose the sending of the Interallied Commission, which will soon leave for the East to determine the wishes of the local peoples regarding the future organization of their country. I am sure the Syrians will know how to show you their gratitude.  His foreign policy adviser Edward House was later informed by British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour of the deal which, eighteen months later, was to give his name to a statement that was expected to have an even more fatal impact on the region. .