“We will miss Morocco, our Moroccan friends, and the lives we made here,” David Fischer said in his last speech as US Ambassador to Morocco.
Agadir – With the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden drawing near, David Fischer addressed the press for the last time as the US Ambassador. As Fischer ends his diplomatic assignment and readies himself to depart Morocco, he described Morocco as “one of the most wonderful, beautiful, hospitable countries in the world.”
He noted that a year ago, on his first day in Morocco, he “had the honor of meeting His Majesty King Mohamed VI,” who was the one to create the foundations that would “guide the US-Moroccan friendship towards an ever-closer partnership.”
Fischer dwelt on the history of the US-Morocco diplomatic ties, noting that “this partnership is centuries old” and started with Morocco’s recognition of the United States, over 200 years ago.
The speech mostly offered a summary of US diplomatic achievements since Fischer began his work as ambassador. He brought attention to the various health and social initiatives implemented during his tenure, stressing the strengthening of diplomatic ties, the growing cooperation on security issues, as well as initiatives “fostering economic entrepreneurship and political participation.”
Fischer also recalled that through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the US government has invested more than $9.5 million (MAD 85 million) in Morocco’s COVID-19 pandemic response.
In a show of solidarity to a strong partner and ally, he suggested, the US has “worked with the Ministry of Health and other partners to raise awareness about COVID-19, to train healthcare workers, and to provide hygiene materials and laboratory equipment.”
He also stressed his commitment to the public education system in Morocco, noting that “USAID was able to obtain a record amount of funding for English instruction in public schools in Morocco.” Meanwhile, a separate US program to aid reading comprehension reached “over 4 million students” in partnership with the Moroccan Ministry of Education, he added.
As for the various new agreements and initiatives that have benefited both countries, Ambassador Fischer also brought attention to the fact that the 15-year-old US-Morocco Free Trade Agreement has “already boosted trade by over 500 percent since it was implemented.”
“The history between our two countries is filled with important events, and I believe that we made history again this year, several times over,” he recounted, referring to the US-brokered rapprochement between Morocco and Israel, as well as his role as the first US Ambassador to visit the “Moroccan Sahara.”
His ambition for his time as US Ambassador was to “make it clear to Morocco that America is investing heavily in this friendship, and believes strongly in our future.”
As President Trump’s landmark decision to recognize Western Sahara as part of Moroccan territory came only two months before a transition of administrations in the US, some worry about the longevity of such recognition.
For his part, Fischer is convinced that the incoming administration will not reverse course on Western Sahara and evolving US-Morocco ties in general. He said that he is “100 percent sure that the incoming Biden administration will nominate a highly qualified individual to fill this important post, someone who will build on all that we have done together, and that the United States and Morocco will grow and prosper together as we have for over two centuries.”
The outgoing US ambassador concluded his speech on a warm note, saying he and other embassy staff will miss Morocco, their Moroccan friends, and the lives they made here, but they can leave happily “knowing that the future of the US-Moroccan partnership has been made unbreakable, and can only grow stronger.”