99. Memorandum of Conversation1 2


  • Time: 11:30 a.m.


  • U.S.
  • The President
  • Dr. Henry Kissinger
  • Mr. David D. Newsom, AF
  • Mr. Harold Saunders, NSC Staff
  • Morocco
  • Mr. Mamoun Tahiri, Minister of Finance
  • Ambassador Ahmed Osman

After a brief private meeting with the President, Mr. Tahiri made a formal presentation of his message from King Hassan stressing that the King’s interest was in preserving the spiritual and moral bond with the U.S. He expressed the King’s sincere and profound friendship. The King, said Mr. Tahiri, regards President Nixon as the spiritual son of President Eisenhower for whom the King had such a high regard. President Eisenhower was outstanding in faithfulness which he showed to friends of the U.S. whom he supported without reservations.

Mr. Tahiri said that the present political situation in North Africa was a source of great concern to the King of Morocco. He cited recent developments in Libya and in Tunisia. The Moroccan reaction was to see the progress of extremism and subversion across North Africa. The King wondered to what extent the leader of the free world would follow passively these developments. The King asked the question before Mr. Tahiri left “Where does the U.S. plan to establish its last defense against subversion?”

Morocco, said Mr. Tahiri, has set its path and is on its way to the difficult goal of bringing a good life to its people. It is also seeking to make its contribution to peace in the Middle East as well as in the Mediterranean area. The King brought together the [Page 2] leaders of the Moslem world in a constructive fashion at the Islamic Conference. Morocco can in the future play a significant role.

The King wished by his mission to show that his only concern was a constructive relationship with the United States and the internal strength of Morocco. Military strength was not a problem. The primary problem was economic.

At a level to be decided by the President, the King hoped that a new basis for cooperation “outside normal paperwork” could be established. This would involve new procedures and a new policy.

In reply the President said he would welcome concrete suggestions from Mr. Tahiri as to what procedures needed changing. The U.S. considers Morocco a strong anchor in the Mediterranean and wants to keep it that way.

(In a subsequent conversation with Mr. Newsom, Minister Tahiri was more specific about what the King had in mind. He said the King wished to lay this groundwork for a possible visit in the future at which time he and the President could map out the level of cooperation. Mr. Newsom told Mr. Tahiri that the Department would consider the approach made to the President and would send further comments to the Moroccan Government.)

  1. 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)
  2. 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.