In April of 2009, when she was in country, Hillary was receiving the first-time, courtesy visits of many foreign ministers, her counterparts, from many different countries. One of these was Dr. Taieb Fassi Fihri of Morocco. Here is their short exchange prior to a private bilateral meeting on April 8, 2009.
RemarksHillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of StateTreaty RoomWashington, DCApril 8, 2009
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it’s wonderful to welcome Minister Fihri here today on behalf of Morocco. We are so committed to our relationship and have very high regard for the extraordinary progress that has taken place in Morocco over the last years, and we look forward to deepening and strengthening our relationship.
FOREIGN MINISTER FIHRI: Me, too. I’m very happy to be here and to have the opportunity for this meeting with Madame Secretary. As you know, USA and Morocco have a longstanding relationship, and we will continue to work together to defend peace and stability, mainly in the Middle East, in Africa. And we in Morocco really appreciate the statement made by the President and then Madame Secretary about new dialogue with Muslim countries and also how to reach the peace in the Middle East.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Minister.
FOREIGN MINISTER FIHRI: Thank you.
QUESTION: Madame Secretary, do you have any clarity on the Somali piracy situation?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we’re deeply concerned and we’re following it very closely. Specifically, we are now focused on this particular act of piracy and the seizure of a ship that carries 21 American citizens. More generally, we think the world must come together to end the scourge of piracy.
I think Morocco was the very first country that recognized us, going back a long time. And we worked together to end piracy off of the coast of Morocco all those years ago, and we’re going to work together to end this kind of criminal activity anywhere on the high seas. Thank you.
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Indeed, Morocco was the first country to recognize the United States of America as a sovereign nation. I learned that from Hillary that day. Morocco recognized the U.S. in 1777. We have been friends with treaties dating back to 1786. We have lived in a global community from birth. Happy Birthday, U.S.A.!
YES, we have a country! How dare anyone say we do not or that we are not strong with long, durable ties around the globe. Only the ignorant would believe such a lie.