147. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Morocco1

32727. For Ambassador. Subject: US Military Facilities in Morocco. Ref: A. State 7401 (Notal) B. Rabat 776 (Notal).2

1. You are authorized to utilize February 12 audience with King Hassan to express to King in general terms our intent with respect both to phasedown of Kenitra and installation of GEODSS station in Morocco. Note that, as Hassan himself foresaw, technological improvements have rendered our facilities at Kenitra unnecessary and that is the sole reason for our decision to close them. You should couch GEODSS proposal in terms that underscore US desire maintain presence as visible reminder of firm US support for Morocco.

2. Tell King that you have not yet received detailed descriptions of either proposal but that you expect to be able to present them to His Majesty at an audience which you will request after your return from Amman. Request King’s preliminary reaction to your generalized approach before you depart for Amman.

3. FYI. Department exploring possibility of continued operation of communications school in line with your concerns but this issue should not repeat not be raised with Hassan at this time. If Hassan raises subject reply that you are unable to address specifics in absence of detailed proposals.

4. With respect to possible visit by Hassan to U.S., you should tell him you have been assured the new administration is aware of his interest. Given many Chiefs of State who have expressed similar interest, need to focus initially on Middle East leaders directly involved in helping get Arab-Israeli negotiating process started as quickly as [Page 353] possible, and press of business on many fronts. We are sure King will understand why it has not yet been possible to deal with this question at such an early stage of the new administration.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Middle East, Subject File, Box 69, Morocco: 1–6/77. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Printed from a copy that was received in the White House Situation Room. Drafted in NEA/AFN; cleared by Atherton and in PM, H, DASD/ISA, and S/S; approved by Habib. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770051–0454)
  2. In telegram 7401 to Rabat, January 13, Atherton wrote: “Although DOD remains anxious to move on Kenitra phase-down and related issues, I agree that formal demarche to King Hassan in remaining days of current administration has high potential for misunderstanding. We will need to review and refine proposals for early action in new administration. In our view, we will want to examine further all possibilities for putting existing facilities to new uses, so as to lessen impact of changes.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770012–1022) In telegram 776 from Rabat, February 10, Anderson requested guidance on the “Kenitra package” for his February 14 audience with Hassan. (Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Middle East, Subject File, Box 69, Morocco: 1–6/77)