Morocco formally recognized the United States by signing a treaty of peace and friendship in 1786. Despite a longstanding consular presence, permanent diplomatic relations did not begin until 1905. Morocco entered into the status of a French protectorate from 1912 to 1956, and normal diplomatic relations were resumed after U.S. recognition of Moroccan independence in 1956.Modern Flag of Morocco
Morocco recognized the United States on June 23, 1786, when a treaty of peace and friendship was signed by U.S. Minister Thomas Barclay and Sidi Muhammad, Sultan of Morocco, at Marrakech.
In 1912, Morocco became a French protectorate. Certain portions of Morocco also came under Spanish control, including the province of Tangier. However, the United States did not recognize the French and Spanish protectorates until October 20, 1917, when Secretary of State Robert Lansing sent a letter formally acknowledging the protectorate to Jean Jules Jusserand, French Ambassador to the United States.
The United States recognized Moroccan independence from French sovereignty on March 7, 1956, in a statement of congratulations regarding the Franco-Moroccan declaration of March 2, wherein France had recognized Moroccan independence.
James Simpson was appointed the first U.S. consul, and arrived on December 7, 1797, at Tangier to assume his duties and establish the U.S. consulate. Simpson served for over twenty years, until his death on March 8, 1820. In 1821, as a gift to the United States, Sultan Mawlay Suleiman gave a building for the consulate’s use, which was the first property abroad owned by the United States. The building is now the Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies (TALIM).
Below are dates for the earliest and latest extant dates of U.S. consulates in Morocco. The only Consulate currently in operation is in Casablanca.
Diplomatic relations were established on March 8, 1905, when the American consulate at Tangier was elevated to the status of a legation, and Samuel Gummere was named American Minister Plenipotentiary, with a letter of credence dated March 21. Gummere presented his credentials on September 29, 1906.
The United States did not initially recognize the French and Spanish protectorate over Morocco which was formally established in 1912. However, upon U.S. entry into the First World War, the U.S. Government issued a statement recognizing the protectorate over Morocco on October 20, 1917, whereupon the U.S. Minister at Tangier was downgraded to the status of Diplomatic Agent.
After the recognition of Moroccan independence, the post of diplomatic agent was again raised, this time to the level of ambassador, and the U.S. embassy was established at the capital of Rabat on Jun 11, 1956, with William J. Porter as Chargé d'Affaires ad interim; upon its establishment Legation Tangier was changed in status to a Consulate General. On October 6, 1956, Cavendish Cannon presented his credentials as the first U.S. ambassador to Morocco. On September 5, 1956, Dr. El Mehdi Mohammed Ben Aboud of Morocco presented his credentials to U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower.