It's been a while since there were American Consuls in Tangier. The US Consular Flag (left) dates back to 1777, which happens to be the year that the Moroccan Sultan took note of "les américains" among Morocco's trading partners. The first American consuls appeared in Tangier in the 1790s.
The Consulate General of Tangier closed in the 1980s, so the American community of Tangier was pleased to attend the Town Hall meeting at the Legation last Thursday, where Casablanca Consul General Brian Shukan brought Consul Mark Ellis and Regional Security Officer (RSO) Stefan Merino to explain services offered to American citizens.
The Legation also served as a venue for the meeting of OSAC, the Morocco chapter of the Overseas Security Advisory Council, a State Department initiative which serves as a clearinghouse for security information and best practice for American companies and institutions abroad. For the American citizens he addressed afterwards, the RSO offered advice on security awareness for the generally safe streets of Tangier.
Consul Mark Ellis briefed the group on the wide range of services offered to American citizens in Morocco, and even did a few notarizations for attendees. The American community here is very heterogeneous, and ranges from young NGO volunteers to business professionals to retirees, some of whom have lived here for decades. An important segment of the community includes Moroccan-Americans.
As Consul General Shukan – active in AMCHAM, the American Chamber of Commerce in Morocco – outlined, with the growth of major industrial infrastructure linked to Tangier Med Port, the Free Zone, and the forthcoming high speed train (TGV) line, the concentration of Americans in Tangier is likely to increase.
We're glad that the Legation can still serve as a meeting place for "AMCITS," and that the US Embassy in Rabat and the Consulate General in Casablanca see the Legation as a natural venue for a wide variety of programs, from cultural to commercial to consular.