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embassies and high commissions in United Kingdom.
Frequently Asked Questions About Embassies And
Services Offered By The Embassy
A diplomatic mission is a group of people from one state or an international inter-governmental organisation (such as the United Nations) present in another state to represent the sending state/organisation in the receiving state. In practice, a diplomatic mission usually denotes the permanent mission, namely the office of a country's diplomatic representatives in the capital city of another country.
A permanent diplomatic mission is typically known as an embassy, and the person in charge of the mission is known as an ambassador. The term "embassy" is often used to refer to the building or compound housing an ambassador's offices and staff. Technically, however, "embassy" refers to the diplomatic delegation itself, while the office building in which they work is known as a chancery.
Ambassadors can reside within or outside of the chancery; for example, American diplomatic missions maintain separate housing for their ambassadors apart from their embassies. Ambassadorial residences enjoy the same rights as missions.
Missions between Commonwealth countries are known as high commissions and their heads are high commissioners. This is due to the fact that ambassadors are exchanged between foreign countries, but since the beginning of the Commonwealth, member countries have nominally maintained that they are not foreign to one another (the same reason as the naming of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office).
A consulate is similar to (but not the same as) a diplomatic office, but with focus on dealing with individual persons and businesses, as defined by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. A consulate or consulate general is generally a representative of the embassy in locales outside of the capital city. For instance, the United Kingdom has its Embassy of the United Kingdom in Washington, D.C., but also maintains seven consulates-general and four consulates. The person in charge of a consulate or consulate-general is known as a consul or consul-general, respectively. Similar services may also be provided at the embassy (to serve the region of the capital) in what is sometimes called a consular section.
The role of such a mission is to protect in the receiving the head of State, the interests of the sending State and of its nationals, within the limits permitted by international law; negotiating with the Government of the receiving State as directed by the sending State; ascertaining by lawful means conditions and developments in the receiving State, and reporting thereon to the Government of the sending State; promoting friendly relations between the sending State and the receiving State, and developing their economic, cultural and scientific relations.