Abstract and Keywords
This article discusses diplomacy and diplomatic missions. Diplomatic missions today fall under several headings. Embassies and consulates (or consulates-general) predominate in bilateral relations, although trade offices and other variations on the consulate also exist. Embassies are led by an ambassador; but between incumbents, and sometimes for reasons of tense relations or worse, they are headed up by a Chargé d’Affaires, ad interim. Staff within embassies fall under three broad headings: diplomatic staff, nearly always from the sending country and with a range of designations; support or administrative staff, also not nationals of the country in which the embassy is established; and support staff who are nationals of the country of accreditation, known as local (or locally engaged) staff. The role of diplomacy in areas such as political relations, goodwill creation, economic interests and trade, trade promotion and policy, and development assistance is also discussed.
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