Relations between Madagascar (formerly the Malagasy Republic) and the United States date to the middle 1800s. The two countries concluded a commercial convention in 1867 and a treaty of peace, friendship, and commerce in 1881. Traditionally warm relations suffered considerably during the 1970s, when Madagascar expelled the U.S. ambassador, closed a NASA tracking station, and nationalized two U.S. oil companies. In 1980, relations at the ambassadorial level were restored.
Modern Flag of Madagascar
The United States recognized the Malagasy Republic on June 25, 1960, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent a letter to that effect to President Philibert Tsiranana. The area that became the Malagasy Republic had been previously under French sovereignty. The state’s name changed to Madagascar between 1975-1980.
John P. Finkelmeier was appointed Commercial Agent to Madagascar on February 13, 1866.
The United States established diplomatic relations with Madagascar when Commercial Agent John P. Finkelmeier was appointed Consul and the station at Tamatave was elevated to Consulate.
The American Consulate in Tananarivo was opened on or around July 8, 1916. The Consulate at Tamatave was closed December 31, 1916.
With the establishment of the independent Malagasy Republic, the American Consulate at Tananarive (now Antananarivo) was elevated to Embassy status on June 25, 1960 with former Consul J. Roland Jacobs as Charge d’Affaires ad interim.
Frederic P. Bartlett was appointed Ambassador to the Malagasy Republic on August 27, 1960.
On June 1, 1971, the Government of the Malagasy Republic requested Ambassador Anthony Marshall leave the country following a Malagasy newspaper report that the government received a secret document bearing his signature that implicated him in a supposed coup against President Philibert Tsiranana.