Remembrances
Your Majesty, America will never forget that in 1777, the first nation in the world to recognize the United States was the Kingdom of Morocco. George W. Bush.
US-Morocco - Overview
 

Morocco was the first country to seek diplomatic relations with the Government of the United States in 1777, and remains one of our oldest and closest allies in the region.


Formal U.S. relations with Morocco date from 1787, when the two nations negotiated a Treaty of Peace and Friendship. Renegotiated in 1836, the treaty is still in force, constituting the longest unbroken treaty relationship in U.S. history. As testament to the special nature of the U.S.-Moroccan relationship, Tangier is home to the oldest U.S. diplomatic property in the world, and the only building on foreign soil that is listed in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, the American Legation in Tangier (now a museum).

 

U.S.-Moroccan relations, characterized by mutual respect and friendship, have remained strong through cooperation and sustained high-level dialogue. King Hassan II visited the United States several times during his reign as King, meeting with Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton. King Mohammed VI has continued his father’s tradition; he made his first trip to the U.S. as King on June 20, 2000. Prime Minister Jettou visited Washington in January 2004, and King Mohammed came to the United States in July 2004. Secretary of State Colin Powell traveled to Morocco in December 2004 to co-chair with Foreign Minister Benaissa the first meeting of the G8-BMENA "Forum for the Future." In August 2007, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes visited Morocco to meet with Moroccan officials, Moroccan non-governmental organizations, and students.

As a stable, democratizing, and liberalizing Arab Muslim nation, Morocco is important for U.S. interests in the Middle East. Accordingly, U.S. policy toward Morocco seeks sustained and strong engagement, and identifies priorities of economic, social, and political reform; conflict resolution; counterterrorism/security cooperation; and public outreach. In August 2007, the U.S. and Morocco signed a Millennium Challenge Compact totaling $697.5 million to be paid out over five years. The Compact was designed to stimulate economic growth by increasing productivity and improving employment in high-potential sectors, such as artisanry and fishing.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and its predecessor agencies have managed an active and effective assistance program in Morocco since 1953, for a cumulative amount exceeding $2 billion. The amount of USAID assistance to Morocco in FY 2007 was $19.9 million, with an estimated $20.3 million allotted for FY 2008. USAID’s current multi-sectoral strategy (2004-2008) consists of three strategic objectives in creating more opportunities for trade and investment, basic education and workforce training, and government responsiveness to citizen needs.

The Peace Corps has been active in Morocco for more than 40 years, with the first group of 53 volunteers arriving in the country in 1963. Since that time, nearly 4,000 volunteers have served in Morocco, and have served in a variety of capacities including lab technology, urban development, commercial development, education, rural water supply, small business development, beekeeping, and English language training. In 2007, 197 volunteers served in Morocco, working in four sectors: health, youth development, small business, and the environment.

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