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An ambassador is an official envoy, especially a high-ranking
diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( ...
who represents a state and is usually accredited to another sovereign state or to an
international organization An international organization (also known as an international institution or intergovernmental organization) is a stable set of norms and rules meant to govern the behavior of states and other actors in the international system. Organizations ...
as the resident representative of their own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment. 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 such as sales. An ambassador is the ranking government representative stationed in a foreign capital or country. The host country typically allows the ambassador control of specific territory called an
embassy A diplomatic mission or foreign mission is a group of people from one state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (news ...

embassy
, whose territory, staff, and vehicles are generally afforded
diplomatic immunity Diplomatic immunity is a form of legal immunity that ensures diplomats are given safe passage and are considered not susceptible to lawsuit or prosecution under the host country's laws, although they may still be deportation, expelled. Modern d ...
in the host country. Under the
Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 is an international treaty A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law and law ...

Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations
, an ambassador has the highest
diplomatic rank Diplomatic rank is a system of professional and social rank A social class is a set of concepts in the and centered on models of which occur in a class society, in which people are grouped into a set of social categories, the most commo ...
. Countries may choose to maintain diplomatic relations at a lower level by appointing a
chargé d'affaires A ''chargé d'affaires'' (), plural ''chargés d'affaires'', often shortened to ''chargé'' (French) and sometimes in colloquial English to ''charge-D'', is a diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romani ...
in place of an ambassador. The equivalent to an ambassador exchanged among members of the
Commonwealth of Nations The Commonwealth of Nations, generally known simply as the Commonwealth, is a political association of 54 member states, almost all of which are former territories A territory is an administrative division, usually an area that is under the ...

Commonwealth of Nations
are known as High Commissioners. The "ambassadors" of the
Holy See The Holy See ( lat, Sancta Sedes, ; it, Santa Sede ), also called the See of Rome or Apostolic See, is the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian ...
are known as Papal or Apostolic
Nuncio An apostolic nuncio ( la, nuntius apostolicus; also known as a papal nuncio or simply as a nuncio) is an ecclesiastical {{Short pages monitor