Diplomatic credentials

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Diplomatic credentials are documents presented by foreign ambassadors and ministers to the chief of state of the host government. The documents, which follow a standard text, identify the diplomats as representatives of their governments and empowered to speak for them.

According to diplomatic protocol, ambassadors or ministers may not represent their governments before a host government's foreign ministry until their credentials have been formally presented in person and have been accepted by the host government's chief of state. Once their whose credentials are accepted, they are considered diplomatically accredited to the host government and are considered an officer of the host government as well as their own.

A recall letter of previously presented credentials is often submitted along with new credentials.[1]

List of policies by state(s)[edit]


The President of Afghanistan holds a ceremony for each incoming foreign Ambassador to accept their diplomatic credentials. The ceremony typically takes place in the Arg, the Afghan presidential palace, and press releases announce the accreditation.[2][3]

European Union[edit]

The European Union has a standard policy across all of its member countries, with some minor variations. Letters of Credence from the presenting Ambassador must be signed by their Head of State. The foreign representative may be accompanied to the presentation of diplomatic credentials by up to two guests, usually staff of their Mission. In terms of etiquette, no speeches are allowed during the presentation of credentials, and a “dark suit or national costume should be worn.” The Union mandates a photographic account of the presentation be recorded and sent to the President of the European Commission.[4]


Ambassadors are received by the President of Israel in group accreditation ceremonies where Letters of Credence are received.[5]

United Kingdom[edit]

All recognized foreign ambassadors meet with the reigning British monarch and present Letters of Credence, also known as Letters of High Commission among Commonwealth countries, to the monarch. As a traditional gesture, the British Government takes the Ambassador to their Embassy using seventeenth-century carriages. All Foreign Missions have their credentials registered at the Court of St. James’ in London.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ State, United States Dept of (2012-08-31). Personal instructions to the diplomatic agents of the United States in foreign countries. Ulan Press. 
  2. ^ "President Ghani Accepts Diplomatic Credentials of New Australian Ambassador". Office of the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. January 24, 2015. Retrieved October 15, 2015. 
  3. ^ "President Ghani Accepts Diplomatic Credentials of New Non-resident Ambassador of Azerbaijan". Office of the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. June 7, 2015. Retrieved October 15, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Vade-mecum for the use of the diplomatic corps accredited to the European Union and to the European Atomic Energy Community". European Commission Protocol Service. Retrieved October 15, 2015. 
  5. ^ "President Rivlin receives diplomatic credentials of new ambassadors". Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. August 6, 2015. Retrieved October 15, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Ambassador credentials". The British Monarchy. London, United Kingdom. Archived from the original on March 9, 2009. Retrieved October 15, 2015.