•The US and Morocco Share a Long History of Friendship•
Morocco was the first country to formally recognize the United States. The United States negotiated its first formal treaty of commerce and friendship with Morocco. Negotiations began in 1783, and resulted in the signing in 1786 of the Moroccan-American Treaty of Friendship. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both future U.S. Presidents, were the American signatories.
Morocco-US relations continue to grow stronger. Below are some highlights of the 235 year partnership:
- During World War I, Morocco was aligned with the Allied forces and in 1917-1918 Moroccan soldiers fought victoriously alongside U.S. Marines at Château Thierry, Mont Blanc, and Soissons. During World War II, Moroccan national defense forces aided American and British forces operating in the area.
- Morocco hosted one of the most pivotal meetings of the allied leaders in World War II. President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Free French commander General Charles De Gaulle, met for four days in the Casablanca neighborhood of Anfa in January 1943 to discuss the war and agreed to launch their continental counter-push against Axis aggression through a beach head landing on the French Atlantic coast. At this meeting President Roosevelt also ensured he would do all in his power to support Morocco’s wish to be independent of the French.
- FollowingMorocco’s independence in 1956 President Eisenhower communicated to King Mohammed V that “my government renews its wishes for the peace and prosperity ofMorocco,” to which the King reassured the President he would be a staunch ally in the fight against the proliferation of Communism in the region.
- The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and its predecessor agencies have managed an active and effective assistance program in Morocco since 1953. The Peace Corps has also been active in Morocco since 1953 and more than 4000 volunteers have served there. Currently there are nearly 200 volunteers in Morocco working in the areas of health, youth development, small business, and the environment.
- Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, Morocco showed solidarity and renewed its commitment as a strong ally of theUS. The US initiated a dialogue with Morocco regarding its role in the war on terror. A number of people suspected of being part of the al-Qaeda network have since been prosecuted in Morocco. Cooperation between Morocco and the US includes data sharing, law enforcement partnership, improvement of capabilities to oversee strategic checkpoints, and termination of terrorist organization financing.
- Morocco’s counter-terrorism efforts involve close cooperation with the US. As the Department of State affirms, “Morocco was among the first Arab and Islamic states to denounce the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States and declare solidarity with the American people in the war against terror.”
- Today, that friendship continues with extended cooperation in many fields, highlighted by our common commitment to combating terrorism, the 2004 Free Trade Agreement, and the designation ofMorocco as a non-NATO Ally and a partner in the Millennium Challenge Account.
- In 2004 U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick and Minister-Delegate of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Taib Fassi-Fihri signed the groundbreaking US-Morocco Free Trade Agreement, signaling the beginning of a new period of cooperation and economic growth between the United States and Morocco.
- A stable, democratizing, and liberalizing Arab Muslim nation, Morocco is an important supporter of key US interests in the Middle East. US policy toward Morocco is based on sustained and strong engagement, and identifies priorities for reform, conflict resolution, counterterrorism cooperation, and public outreach.