“As prepared for delivery”
TALIM 40th Anniversary in Tangier
Villa Sidi Hosni
April 7th, 2016
Good evening friends and supporters of the Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies, known by all of us as TALIM.
It is a pleasure to be here with you tonight to celebrate TALIM’s 40thanniversary and the enduring friendship between the United States and Morocco.
It’s also such a privilege to be here with you in Villa Sidi Hosni. This home represents a key part of Tangier American history, due to its splendid Andalusian design as commissioned by former U.S. Consul General Maxwell Blake and also because it was the residence of Barbara Hutton, who opened her home to writers and artists from around the world.
Villa Sidi Hosni and the American Legation stand as testaments of the unique, deep, and historic relationship between the United States and Morocco.
Morocco was the first country in the world to formally acknowledge the United States as an independent nation, and at 230 years old, the Moroccan-American Treaty of Friendship constitutes longest unbroken treaty relationship in U.S. history.
However, at the heart of the U.S. and Morocco’s recent history, lies in the profound connection between the United States and Tangier.
The original 19th century Legation building that was presented to the U.S. here in Tangier was the first property acquired abroad by the United States government. It served as the official home of the United States Legation and Consulate for 140 years, the longest period any building abroad has been occupied as a United States diplomatic post.
Throughout the 20th century, the international and social community of Tangier inspired some of the most talented American musical and literary artists, whose work significantly influenced American culture. The Paul Bowles wing in the current Legation building is a wonderful testament to the impact such Americans were able to leave on Tangier as well.
Today, U.S. efforts in Tangier include assisting with the expansion of port facilities to help increase economic growth through exports, expanding job creation and foreign investment and support to the arts.
U.S.-Moroccan relations remain strong through cooperation, coordination and open dialogue. We share the same values, we face the same challenges, and we seek the same goals for our nations and peoples.
Every day I feel privileged to serve in a country that is as loyal, generous and proud as the Kingdom of Morocco. On this 40th anniversary of TALIM, I am particularly excited to see what the U.S. and Morocco will accomplish together in the future.