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An ambassador is the highest ranking diplomat who represents a nation and is usually accredited to a foreign sovereign or government, or to an international organization.

Sometimes countries also appoint highly respected individuals as Ambassador at Large who are assigned specific responsibilities, and they work to advise and assist their governments in a given area. The word is also often used more liberally for persons who are known, without national appointment, to represent certain professions, activities and fields of endeavor.

In everyday usage it 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 senior diplomatic officers among members of the Commonwealth of Nations are known as High Commissioners, who are the heads of High Commissions. Representatives of the Holy See are known as Papal or Apostolic Nuncios, while the head of a Libyan mission is a "Secretary of the Libyan People's Bureau".[1]


Rise of modern diplomacy

The rise of the modern diplomatic system was a product of the Italian Renaissance ( from around 1300 AD/CE ). The use of ambassadors became a political strategy in Italy during the 17th century. The political changes in Italy altered the role of ambassadors in diplomatic affairs. Because many of the states in Italy are small in size, they were particularly vulnerable to larger states. The ambassador system was used to disperse information and to protect the more vulnerable states.

This practice then spread to Europe during the Italian Wars. The use and creation of ambassadors during the 15th century in Italy has had long-term effects on Europe and, in turn, the world's diplomatic and political progression. Europe still uses the same terms of ambassador rights as they had established in the 16th century, concerning the rights of the ambassadors in host countries as well as the proper diplomatic procedures. An ambassador was used as a representative of the state in which he is from to negotiate and disseminate information in order to keep peace and establish relationships with other states. This attempt was employed in the effort to maintain peaceful relations with nations and make alliances during difficult times.

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