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History of state visits
I think it would be extremely interesting and enlightening to start a subchapter focussing on the historical development of state visits by head of states. I am neither a politologist nor a historian, although I have strong interest and quite some knowledge in these spheres; what is of concern to me is the impression that the custom of visiting head of states is a matter that only developed in the 19th century. But I am not sure, of course - their are too many national histories - and interpretations. What I suggest is that for a long time in history, head of states could not take the risk to visit other countries since it would have made them easy victims of competing forces. Emissaries were sent, but the head of a state ordinarily stayed in his own country, the sphere that he and his armies could control. There might have been a change when new areas were conquered, or when they submitted to another ruler. I may be wrong, but I feel this would be an interesting field of inter-disciplinary research. --Gruschke (talk) 15:03, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
Official visit article redirect
When I input "official visit", I am redirected to this article. Yet, the article List_of_state_and_official_visits_by_Canada implies a difference which is not detailed in this article on state visits.
So, shouldn't this article also discuss what an "official visit" is? Does it refer to a visit by a high official other than the head of state, or, as the article on Canada suggests, a visit by the head of state that the two governments have agreed will not be accorded the highest protocols, in order to provide a more relaxed condition of formality? Can the prime minister of a Commonwealth nation go on a state visit, or is that status strictly reserved for the titular head of state?
What I'm asking is, is that a state visit is always by a head of state, but a visit by a head of state is not always a state visit? And I'm further asking, is an official visit always by a high official of the government, up to the head of state, while only a head of state can carry out a state visit? And how high an official does it need to be to be an official visit? No less than the first minister (aka prime minister or premier or chancellor or such), or could it be a cabinet minister such as the foreign minister (which probably happens too often to be categorized as anything more than having the ambassador's boss, or a colleague of the ambassador's boss, visit)?
So, here's the way I sum it up, and I would appreciate comment and correction:
The head of state (king, sultan, etc.) (in Commonwealth nations, the Governor-General is the head-of-state) can make both official and state visits.
The first minister (prime minister, premier, chancellor, etc.) can only make official visits.
Other cabinet ministers and other officials can make neither kind of visit, but visit mainly in the capacity of a diplomat or ambassador, and in the category of government-to-government business.
Any of these people could also make private visits, which have no pomp or ceremony, but they might still have a courtesy meeting with an equivalent or near equivalent official of the government of the nation being visited. For example, the president of the United States might visit Canada privately and while there, meet with the prime minister, as for example Dwight Eisenhower meeting with John Diefenbaker in 1958. GBC (talk) 08:09, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
- There doesn't seem to be much consensus on the issue, as indicated by this blurb at the BBC, but my best guess is that a state visit is by a head of state, while an official visit is by a member of the government (including the head of government). And then a working visit would be any visit that does not involve official ceremonies. Ibadibam (talk) 18:26, 1 June 2012 (UTC)