Ch. 4. Morocco


97. Airgram A-34 From the Embassy in Morocco to the Department of State, February 17, 1969

The report assessed the impact on U.S. interests of the recent increase of Soviet influence in Morocco. The influx of Soviet arms and technicians into Algeria were of prime concern to Morocco's national security and economic well-being at the same time the Arab-Israeli dispute placed pressure on King Hassan to align Morocco with Arab extremists. This report goes on to outline the strategic importance of Morocco and to analyze U.S. policies and conditioning factors toward the GOM.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL MOR-US. Secret. Drafted by Earle Russell, Jr.; cleared by Edward Dow, Jr., Gordon Schraeder, Phillip Birnbaum, and Col. Gahl; and approved by Dwight Dickinson.


98. Telegram 2481 From the Embassy in Morocco to the Department of State, May 18, 1969, 1626Z

This telegram transmitted an account of Ambassador Tasca's conversation with General MOHAMED MEDBOUH, in which Tasca expressed U.S. concern that Morocco's warming relations with the Soviets could damage confidence between Washington and Rabat.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL MOR-US. Secret. It was repeated to Moscow, Paris, Casablanca, and Tangier. According to telegram 75955 to Rabat, May 13, King Hassan had been dropped from the 1969 list of official visitors to Washington following the visit of Soviet President Podgorny to Morocco. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 7 MOR)


99. Memorandum of Conversation, Washington, October 7, 1969, 11:30 a.m.

In response to the request of King Hassan's envoy Mamoun Tahiri, President Nixon invited suggestions for greater U.S.-Moroccan cooperation, emphasizing his regard for Morocco as a strong anchor in the Mediterranean.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 740, Country Files, Africa, Morocco, Vol. I. Secret; Limdis. Drafted by Newsom. The conversation took place at the White House. On September 17, Kissinger had conveyed King Hassan's wish to send a special emissary to discuss the recent Libyan coup and the upcoming Islamic Summit meeting in Rabat (see North Africa Regional section). Kissinger recommended that Nixon accept the envoy in order to make clear his desire for a fair settlement to the Arab-Israeli crisis and his understanding of Arab and Muslim concerns. (Ibid., Box 1243, Saunders Files, Morocco, 1/20/69-12/31/69)


100. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon, Washington, January 7, 1970

Kissinger notified Nixon of a recent message from King Hassan, urging that Washington exercise influence in the Maghreb to offset the danger posed by the new radical regime in Libya.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 740, Country Files, Africa, Morocco, Vol. I. Secret; Limdis. Sent for information. Tab B, telegram 21 from Tasca in Rome, January 4, is not published. In a covering letter to Kissinger, January 5, Saunders observed that Hassan's “analysis is overstated and simplistic but reflects an understandable nervousness about the future of his throne since the Libyan coup. Thus far we have tended to look at the North African situation on a pragmatic country and crisis basis. I think the time has come now, however, for a systematic review of the entire situation. I will be sending you a suggested NSSM to give us a grip on the problem.” (See the North Africa Regional section for more on the resultant NSSM 87, “Trends and Options in North Africa,” January 22, 1970)


101. Telegram Secto 27/727 From Secretary of State Rogers in Morocco to the Department of State, February 10, 1970, 1545Z

This telegram transmitted an account of Rogers' February 9 meeting with Prime Minister Laraki in Rabat. At this meeting, participants focused their discussion on the Spanish Sahara, Algeria, and, especially, peace in the Middle East.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, ORG 7 S. Secret; Priority; Exdis. It was repeated Priority to Rabat and to Algiers, Tripoli, and Madrid. Rogers was in Morocco from February 7 to 9.


102. Telegram Secto 27/727 From Secretary of State Rogers in Morocco to the Department of State, February 10, 1970, 1545Z.

This telegram transmitted an account of Rogers' February 9 meeting with Prime Minister Laraki in Rabat. At this meeting, participants focused their discussion on the Spanish Sahara, Algeria, and, especially, peace in the Middle East.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, ORG 7 S. Secret; Priority; Exdis. It was repeated Priority to Rabat and to Algiers, Tripoli, and Madrid. Rogers was in Morocco from February 7 to 9.


103. Telegram 30004 From the Department of State to the Embassies in Sierra Leone and Guinea, February 28, 1970, 0017Z

In the Moroccan section of an African round up for Assistant Secretary Newsom, the Department of State reported that a military plot had been discovered against King Hassan's regime, that Moroccan terrorists had been apprehended in Spain, and that Moroccan student unrest continued.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, ORG 7 AF. Secret; Priority. Drafted on February 26 by Virginia Montague (AF/I); cleared in draft by Hare (AF/N), Marianne Cook (AF/C), Thomas McNamara (EUR/FBX), Gordon Beyer (AF/E), and Harvey Nelson (AF/S); cleared by Donald Spigler (AF/I), and Robert Brown (S/S); and approved by Moore.


104. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon, Washington, June 3, 1970

Kissinger provided the President with briefing material for his upcoming June 4 meeting with Foreign Minister AHMED LARAKI to discuss the Middle East crisis. In this memorandum, Kissinger presented possible requests by Laraki and underscored the need to bolster the U.S. relationship with Moroccan leadership and use the meeting as a forum for conveying to other Arab leaders the message that the United States was genuinely interested in assisting in a peace settlement.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 740, Country Files, Africa, Morocco, Vol. I. Secret. Sent for information. A stamped notation on the memorandum indicates the President saw it. The attached memorandum and talking points from Secretary Rogers are not printed. The summary of the President's conversation with Laraki is printed as Document 106.


105. Memorandum From Harold Saunders of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, June 8, 1970

Saunders forwarded for Kissinger's approval a summary of the June 4 conversation between Foreign Minister AHMED LARAKI and President Nixon.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 740, Country Files, Africa, Morocco, Vol. I. Secret; Exdis. Sent for action. Saunders wrote the following postscript: “The angle to be especially considered is whether in this form this summary could be given to Laraki for his record since he was alone and did not take detailed notes. H.S.” Kissinger eliminated the last sentence in paragraph 3 and substituted the word “just” for “favorable” in the first sentence of paragraph 4. With these changes, Kissinger approved the summary, and agreed that it could be passed on to Laraki. On June 5, Laraki also had urged Secretary Rogers to consider seriously Nasser's peace appeal as a step towards easing the worsening Middle East situation. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL MOR-US)


106. Intelligence Note RAFN-29 Prepared in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Washington, July 14, 1970

The note reported that King Hassan was preparing to end the “state of exception” he had ruled under since 1965, and allow elections to a new unicameral parliament.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 15-5 MOR. Confidential; Noforn; Controlled Dissemination. Drafted by Mattson and cleared by Harrop. In a subsequent political summary, Airgram A-209, December 8, the Embassy reported, “The new constitution under which the King enjoys the same prerogatives approximating his powers under the State of Exemption [sic?] won approval so unnecessarily overwhelming (97.8%) in the July 24 referendum as to cast doubts on the credibility of that consultation of the popular will. Nonetheless, the referendum exposed the weakness of the opposition's popular grass-roots support and its inability to compete against the well-oiled political apparatus of the regime.” (Ibid., POL 2 MOR)


107. Intelligence Note RAFN-49 Prepared in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Washington, November 3, 1970

The 6 page report analyzed King Hassan's past and likely future use of U.S. military facilities in Morocco as leverage for political and economic advantage.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, DEF 15 MOR-US. Secret; Noforn; Controlled Dissemination. Drafted by Mattson and approved by Harrop.


108. Telegram 4828 From the Embassy in Morocco to the Department of State, November 4, 1970, 1755Z

The Prime Minister asked Ambassador to Morocco Stuart Rockwell if Washington considered the U.S. facilities in Morocco to be a base, which required agreements to govern its usage.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, DEF 15 MOR-US. Secret; Priority; Limdis. The hearings of the Senate Subcommittee on U.S. Overseas Commitments, chaired by William “Stuart” Symington, met in July and November, 1970. In telegram 182605 to Rabat, November 5, the Department replied that the base at Kenitra was under full Moroccan sovereignty and control, and agreed that Rabat might have raised the issue to obtain increased compensation. (Ibid.)


109. Memorandum From Harold Saunders of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, November 30, 1970

Saunders recommended that the administration yield to King Hassan's wish for an emissary to discuss U.S. facilities in Morocco, complete a review of the need for the facilities, and possibly ratify new arrangements with the GOM.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 740, Country Files, Africa, Morocco, Vol. I. Secret. Sent for action. Kissinger approved the recommendation and wrote on the memorandum, “Ok with Saunders changes and delete last [paragraph] HK.” Attached but not printed at Tab A telegram 195658 to Rabat, December 1. It confirmed that the U.S. Government did not regard Kenitra as a U.S. base. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, DEF 15-MOR-US) Attached but not printed at Tab B is telegram 5136 from Rabat, November 25.


110. Memorandum From Harold Saunders of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, January 25, 1971

Saunders summarized for Kissinger a copy of Robert Murphy's report of his discussion with King Hassan. According to Murphy, it all boiled down to Hassan's desire for additional U.S. aid.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 740, Country Files, Africa, Morocco, Vol. I. Secret; Exdis. Sent for information. The attachment, dated December 17, is not printed. Rockwell's report on the same conversation was sent in telegram 5409 from Rabat, December 15, 1970. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, DEF 15 MOR-US)


111. Telegram 51970 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Morocco, March 27, 1971, 2034Z.

In this 9 page telegram, Secretary of State Rogers notified the Embassy that the U.S. Government would seek to retain access to Kenitra as long as the political and economic costs were manageable, but it hoped to avoid a quid pro quo.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, DEF 15 MOR-US. Secret; Exdis. It was repeated to USCINCEUR. Drafted on March 18 by Blake and G. Bader (DOD/ISA); cleared by PM/ISO, USIA, CIA, OSD/ISA, Navy, S/PC, AID, PM/MAS, OSD/Admin, INR, AF, JCS, S/S, and the White House; and approved by Johnson


112. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon, Washington, March 29, 1971

Kissinger provided Nixon with background information on U.S. communications facilities in Morocco and proposed an approach towards the Kenitra facilities negotiations with King Hassan.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 740, Country Files, Africa, Morocco, Vol. I. Secret; Exdis. Sent for action. A stamped notation on the memorandum indicates the President saw it. Nixon approved the recommendation.


113. Memorandum of Conversation, Washington, April 15, 1971, 11 a.m.

Prime Minister Laraki explained that King Hassan wished to postpone his visit to the United States in order to attend the upcoming Arab Summit.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1025, Presidential/HAK Memcons, Mem Con-The President, Prime Minister Laraki, April 15, 1971. Top Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. The meeting took place in the Oval Office. The Department's draft memorandum of the conversation is located in Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 7 MOR.


114. Airgram A-117 From the Embassy in Morocco to the Department of State, June 9, 1971

In this 4 page airgram, the Embassy commented on the proposal for a reorientation of U.S. policy in Morocco submitted by Foreign Service Officer Edward Djerejian posted in Casablanca. The bulk of the discussion focused on Djerejian's two fundamental assumptions that the United States was overcommitted and that radical change was inevitable.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 1 MOR-US. Secret. Drafted on June 7 by Parker and approved by Rockwell. The Embassy sent the original proposal to the Department as Rabat A-97, May 19. (Ibid.)


115. Airgram A-43 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Morocco, June 16, 1971

The Department forwarded an official statement of U.S. policy toward Morocco, approved by the National Security Council Interdepartmental Group for Africa, that outlines U.S. interests and objectives in Morocco over the next five years, as well as Morocco's objectives vis-à-vis the United States. It then goes on to outline a 20 part recommended course of action that the U.S. Government should take over the course of the next 5 years.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 1 MOR-US. Secret; Noforn. Drafted on June 8 by Holmes and approved by Carter.


116. Memorandum From the President's Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig) to President Nixon, Washington, July 10, 1971

Haig alerted the President to the apparent failure of a coup attempt against King Hassan by disaffected members of the Moroccan military.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 357, Subject Files, Morocco, Attempted Coup d'état, 10 July 1971. Confidential. A stamped notation on the memorandum indicates the President saw it.


117. Memorandum From the President's Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig) to President Nixon, Washington, July 11, 1971

Haig reported that sporadic fighting continued in Rabat, that King Hassan was unharmed, and that General Oufkir had been charged with restoring order.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 357, Subject Files, Morocco, Attempted Coup d'état, 10 July 1971. Secret. A stamped notation on the memorandum indicates the President saw it. The congratulatory message, not published, was sent as telegram 124513 to Rabat, July 11. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 15-1 MOR)


118. Intelligence Note RAFN-39 Prepared in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Washington, July 15, 1971

This 4 page report speculated that, in the long term, the King's throne remained in jeopardy from civilian and military discontent.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 23-9 MOR. Secret; Noforn; Controlled Dissemination; Limdis. Drafted by Mattson and cleared by Rives.


119. Telegram 3745 From the Embassy in Morocco to the Department of State, July 23, 1971, 1115Z.

Ambassador to Morocco Stuart Rockwell speculated on the prospects for King Hassan's regime. While the situation in Morocco seemed to be returning to normal, Rockwell noted that Hassan was trying to rationalize events rather than analyze the causes. Unless Hassan embraced reform, his long term prospects looked dim.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 23-9 MOR. Secret. It was repeated Priority to Soto Grande, and to CINCEUR, Madrid, Paris, COMNAVTRACOM, Algiers, Tunis, Tripoli, Casablanca, and Tangier. In telegram 3815 from Rabat, July 27, the Embassy suggested that one consequence of the coup might be an attempt by the Moroccan regime to draw closer to the United States. (Ibid., POL MOR-US)


120. Telegram 134263 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Spain, July 23, 1971, 2259Z.

In response to a query by Spanish Foreign Minister Lopez Bravo, Under Secretary Johnson offered assurances that the CIA had not been behind the plot to King Hassan.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 15-1 MOR. Secret; Flash; Nodis. It was repeated Flash to Rabat and Soto Grande. Drafted and approved by Johnson; cleared in substance with Rogers and with Newsom and Eliot. In telegram 101 from Madrid, July 23, Ambassador Robert Hill had transmitted the message from Lopez Bravo that King Hassan suspected the CIA of complicity in the plot against him. (Ibid.) Also on July 23, CIA Director Richard Helms replied to Ambassador HILL: “You may tell Lopez Bravo categorically that neither CIA nor any other element of U. S. Government had anything whatsoever to do with recent plot against King Hassan.” (Ibid.)


121. Telegram 4204 From the Embassy in Morocco to the Department of State, August 19, 1971, 1605Z.

The Embassy reported that Minister of Defense Oufkir had informed the Moroccan-U.S. Liaison Office that he intended to promote closer cooperation and coordination with Washington.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, DEF 1 MOR. Secret; Limdis; Noforn. It was also sent to SECDEF and USCINCEUR. In telegram 153823 to Rabat, August 20, the Department agreed that while Washington should be helpful, it did not want to increase the U.S. security posture or political identification with the Moroccan regime. (Ibid.)


122. Memorandum of Conversation, Washington, September 29, 1971, 10 a.m.

New Prime Minister Mohamed Karim-Lamrani asked Secretary of State Rogers for assistance in enacting crucial reforms in Morocco to restore stability.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 7 MOR. Secret. Drafted by Robert H. Pelletreau (AF/N); and approved in S on October 13.


123. Telegram 186454 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Morocco, October 12, 1971, 1549Z.

The Joint State/Department message provided guidance for handling requests from the Moroccan Minister of Defense for closer ties with the United States. It included U.S. strategic interest in Morocco, guidance on handing requests from General Oufkir dealing with issues of military organization, command and control systems, civic action, and increased advisory effort.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, DEF 19-8 US-MOR. Secret. It was also sent to USCINCEUR and repeated to CHMUSLO Rabat. Drafted on October 7 by Blake and Bader (OSD/ISA); cleared by DOD/ISA, JCS, PM/MAS, AF/RA, AF/N, and PM/ISP; and approved by Odell. In telegram 4283 from Rabat, August 25, the Embassy had supplied a more detailed list of Oufkir's subsidiary requests for assistance in improving communications with units and assigning civic tasks to military forces. (Ibid., DEF 19-8 US-MOR)


124. Telephone Conversation Between President Nixon and King Hassan of Morocco, via a French Interpreter, October 23, 1971, 11:59 a.m.-12:08 p.m.

Nixon asked for the King's support regarding the upcoming United Nations vote on a U.S. resolution to designate the expulsion of Taiwan an “important question” which would require a two-thirds majority vote.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Oval Office, Conversation 12-106. Secret. The editor transcribed the portion of the tape recording published here specifically for this volume. Morocco was instrumental in the defeat of Washington's proposal to retain Taipei as a UN member, by abstaining on the “important question” resolution. With the U.S. defeat, a simple majority successfully voted for Taiwanese expulsion. In telegram 198650 to Rabat, October 30, the Department sent a record of Newsom's discussion with the Moroccan Chargé expressing U.S. disappointment. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files, 1970-73, POL MOR-US.)


125. National Intelligence Estimate 61-72, Washington, June 15, 1972

Examining the outlook for Morocco, this 11 page report concluded that it was unlikely that King Hassan would give up any of his political authority and, although he could probably continue in power for years, his long-term failure to reform would likely radicalize the political scene.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 361, Subject Files, National Intelligence Estimates. Secret; Controlled Dissemination. The Central Intelligence Agency and the intelligence organizations of the Department of State, Defense, and NSA participated in the preparation of this estimate. The Director of CIA submitted this estimate with the concurrence of all members of the USIB with the exception of the representative of the FBI who abstained on the grounds that it was outside his jurisdiction.


126. Telegram 3761 From the Embassy in Morocco to the Department of State, August 17, 1972, 0020Z.

Ambassador to Morocco Stuart Rockwell gave a preliminary assessment on the failure of another attempt to assassinate King Hassan.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 15-1 MOR. Confidential; Niact; Immediate. It was repeated Immediate to Paris, Rome, Madrid, Tunis, Tripoli, Algiers, and London, and to USCINCEUR and COMNAVTRACOM.