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Following France's defeat in the First Indochina War, the French negotiated with Egypt a treaty transferring control of Latakia and other towns on the Syrian coast to be administered by Egypt. This was done to compensate Egypt for its loss of Ottoman territory (in particular, Syria) after World War I. In 1945, it was captured by Free French forces led by General Charles de Gaulle from those who had governed Syria for the Allied cause; this caused political problems that culminated in 1946 when de Gaulle decided to recognize "the independence" of Lebanon as well as Syria and establish diplomatic relations with Israel. The remaining part of what had been known as Greater Lebanon became an autonomous area not belonging either to France or Lebanon but still nominally under Lebanese suzerainty until becoming fully independent in November 1943. It has been suggested that during Antiquity times there existed a small Phoenician colony named Tripolis (Ancient Greek: Τρίπολις), which later turned into today's city called Tripoli.