Washington, DC (May 29, 2013) — A bipartisan group of US lawmakers gathered at the House Visitors Center in Washington last week to celebrate the launch of the “Congressional Morocco Caucus” for the 113th Congress, with the aim of deepening economic and strategic ties between Rabat and Washington.
Co-chaired by Representative Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), Representative Michael Grimm (R-NY), Representative Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Representative Joe Wilson (R-SC), the Caucus “will be a bipartisan group of Members committed to deepening the economic and strategic relationship between the United States and Morocco,” according to a letter sent to Members of Congress.
“I know the tremendous work you are doing in this country and the tremendous work you are doing for the friendship between Morocco and the United States—the longest ally and friend of the United States,” said Morocco’s Ambassador to the United States, Rachad Bouhlal, to an audience of dozens of Members of Congress and Congressional staff.
“You will be proud of what we will be doing for the friendship between the Unites States and Morocco.”
In his opening remarks at the event, Congressman Grimm explained that the relationship between the two countries “sets a marker for the rest of the world to follow.”
Morocco is America’s oldest friend and ally, having been the first nation to recognize the independence of the American colonies in 1777. The two countries signed the Morocco-US Treaty of Friendship and Peace in 1786, which was ratified by the US Senate in 1787 and remains the longest-standing treaty of its kind in US history.
Morocco is also one of the few non-NATO US allies in the Middle East and North Africa region, and last year, Morocco entered into a formal Strategic Dialogue with the US to address the changes shaping the region.
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