An Ambassador is an official envoy; especially, a highest ranking diplomat who represents a State and is usually accredited to another sovereign State (country), or to an international organization as the resident representative of his or her own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment.
In its most common use, the term usually applies to the ranking government representative stationed in a foreign capital. The host country typically allows the ambassador control of specific territory called an embassy, whose territory, staff, and even vehicles are generally afforded diplomatic immunity in the host country.
The equivalent to an Ambassador exchanged among members of the Commonwealth of Nations are known as High Commissioners. The "Ambassadors" of the Holy See are known as Papal or Apostolic Nuncios.
As formally defined and recognized at the Congress of Vienna (1815), ambassadors were originally regarded as personal representatives of their country's chief executive rather than of the whole country, and their rank entitled them to meet personally with the head of state of the host country. Originally, only the principal monarchies exchanged ambassadors; the U.S. did not appoint ambassadors until 1893. Since 1945 all nations have been recognized as equals, and ambassadors or their equivalents are sent to all countries with which diplomatic relations are maintained. Before the development of modern communications, ambassadors were entrusted with extensive powers; they have since been reduced to spokespeople for their foreign offices.
Famous quotes containing the word ambassador:
“An Ambassador is an honest man sent to lie abroad for the good of his country.”
—Sir Henry Wotton (15681639)
“This morning the British Ambassador in Berlin handed the German Government a final Note stating that, unless we heard from them by 11 oclock that they were prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Poland, a state of war would exist between us. I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received, and that consequently this country is at war with Germany.”
—Neville Chamberlain (18691940)
“An ambassador is not simply an agent; he is also a spectacle.”
—Walter Bagehot (18261877)